Rob studied Product Design at Bournemouth University prior to moving back to his home in Thornbury, near Bristol. Following his graduation, Rob started his professional career in Stroud, working for a plastics manufacturing company where he made the transition from product designing to mould design. After two years there, Rob got a move to the centre of Bristol. Speaking from his home, Rob says: “I saw the job at Limbs, it seemed like a good fit and here I am two years later! I sort of sit between R+D and production and try bridge the gap.”
It runs deeper and it’s a little more technical than that. Actually, it’s a lot more technical than that. When R+D develop an idea and the subsequent parts that make that idea whole, it is Rob’s job to ensure that each part that is manufactured in-house can first of all be done so, and secondly that it can be done so in a way that caters for production. Essentially, Rob and his fellow engineers come up with ways of manufacturing the products that R+D have created, and for each new product that is rolled out, there can be upwards of 20 parts that need to be manufactured in-house.
Rob’s role ensures he consistently plays a large part in the new product development process, which is the implementation of a new product, and its journey from a mere sketch to a training room full of budding medical professionals. In an industry that relies on cutting-edge technology coming to the forefront quickly, there are inevitably time constraints involved in the development process. On being asked whether that was an element of the job he enjoyed, Rob says: “The job has always been really time pressured, because as soon as the whole picture is revealed, everyone wants to launch the product so that can be a real problem!”, he laughs. “Once the deadline is set, there is not that much room for manoeuvre so that’s one challenge, but we can share the work between us (in Engineering).”
Looking at the repertoire of projects Rob has worked on in only two years, it is hard to believe there’s a dislike for pressured working. “I’ve worked on quite a long list actually, it surprised me – there’s quite a lot of projects in two years. Shoulder Injection Trainer, Male Rectal, Lumbar Puncture, the Catheterization Trainers, Ultrasound Shoulder, the Enhanced PROMPT Flex Baby, and I’m currently working on two new projects that I can’t talk about!” He really can’t…
Away from the engineering side of things, Rob is a prominent figure throughout the business, which is one perk of working closely with so many different departments. It’s a point that probably explains his success and influence as Co-Chair of the Employee Forum, an employee formed body that aims to give the employees at Limbs an extended voice throughout the company. “I don’t think I actually realised how much work goes into that, but it was good. I think the most difficult thing was trying to represent every employee”, Rob says, reminiscing on his experience.
When Rob isn’t influencing the latest Employee Forum meeting or creating a new mould for the next product on the agenda, he can be found on a dancefloor or behind some decks. “It’s nice to occasionally go out and share some of the music I feel passionately about and plus I get to sort of dance to my own tracks! I’ve had lots of good nights out with lots of different departments and it’s allowed me to build closer working relationships”, he says. Whilst Rob might be more of a mover than a singer on a night out, one thing is for sure: he’s hitting all the right notes at Limbs.