Dimitrije Grasar joined the Circuitwise team in Sept 2020 as New Product Introduction – Engineering Leader, in charge of ensuring new products are delivered smoothly for our customers. In March 2021, he was promoted to Operations Leader. This blog is an update of the original profile posted shortly after he joined the company.
Q: How did you get into this field?
From a young age, I always liked pulling things apart to see how they worked. At school, I excelled at maths and physics.
I thought about going into software until I realised I wouldn’t be able to get hands-on with devices. So, I chose Engineering and got my degree from the University of Technology Sydney. I was drawn to the electronics stream because it was so tangible. Everything you built was derived from first principles, then you had to bring everything together to make it work.
During my course, I had an internship with an electronics manufacturer called All-Systems Electronics, which included experience in production and then in design. At the end of my degree, they offered me a role, and in total I was there for 13 years.
Q: What is the biggest strength you bring to Circuitwise?
I am good at seeing the whole picture. I was attracted to Circuitwise because of their vision, allowing the creation of a new role that brings together my skills in both design and manufacturing engineering. By partnering with industrial and electronics designers, Circuitwise already excels at understanding the product development lifecycle. I hope to bring some of that experience in-house and aim for a smoother product introduction process for our clients.
Q: What differences do you think you can you make at Circuitwise?
I’m impressed with the systems and processes Circuitwise already has established. They are leaders in quality systems for manufacturing but are always looking to improve.
Because of my overarching role, I hope to play a part in further aligning our systems to the New Product Introduction needs of our customers.
Q: Please describe your role at Circuitwise. What is a New Product Introduction?
New product introduction is about ensuring any new products we take on are delivered to the customer exactly as quoted and on time. I will oversee the whole quoting process to ensure each department internally has a strong understanding of what the customer needs and we are meeting expectations.
It is also about working with customers to optimise the manufacturability of their designs and deliver the most value we can. I will be providing Design for Manufacture feedback to customers during pre-production, after the prototype runs and postproduction.
While we won’t be offering full design services, I will be able to advise customers of any design issues and make minor adjustments with client approval. I can also act as a liaison between product developers and any contract electronics designers they choose to use.
Q: What is the most important part of your work?
As NPI Engineering Leader: Understanding the client’s needs. By empathising with and understanding the product requirements I hope to match them to our capabilities, creating a more cohesive manufacturing process.
As Operations Leader (Oct 2021): Ensuring our internal processes and culture are continually evolving. This allows every member of our team to feel the organisational heartbeat and, from a leadership stance, ensure it ticks in sync with our clients’ needs.
Q: What is the most interesting part of your work?
In electronics manufacturing, many different elements need to come together. In addition to all the components and associated manufacturing instructions, product realisation involves software, hardware, testing, packaging, regulatory compliance and more. The most exciting part of my job is seeing all these pieces come together at the end to deliver a working product.
Q What is the most common question you get asked at work?
A lot of product developers are not familiar with how things are manufactured. Most questions come from a curiosity standpoint, with a genuine interest in the specifics. People are often surprised at the level of manufacturing we still do in Australia and it is always exciting when a client sees how competitive we can be to overseas options, before even looking at the benefits and advantages at sourcing locally.
Q: What is your best tip for customers in manufacturing electronic products?
As NPI Engineering Leader: Involve the manufacturer early in the product development process. I can sympathise with designers and product owners who are sometimes afraid that manufacturing could restrict their creativity. Another way of looking at it is that manufacturing can guide what is possible. A simple mistake made too often is designing a product around functionality only, then shopping around to see who can build it as that leads to unnecessary and unavoidable costs. Optimising your design for manufacture should be a core part of the development process.
As Operations Leader (Oct 2021): Start the dialogue with your Manufacturer as soon as possible. This was always important in product design in order to maximise manufacturing yields and minimise production costs. This is even more so emphasised in the current realm of electronic component supply shortages and lead-time uncertainties due to COVID-19. Supply chain issues have become a real threat to product realisation and launches. Ensuring your prototype, pilot and full production builds are realisable needs to be addressed at the design phase while looking at component availability years ahead.
Q: What do you think is the most important reason product developers should use Circuitwise?
As NPI Engineering Leader: Developers who care about reliability and quality should come to Circuitwise. The quality management system documentation is the most advanced I have seen and permeates every level of the business. The medical devices industry is the main driver behind this but it will become increasingly necessary for all industries, as end-users expect and demand similar levels of safety and quality.
As Operations Leader (Oct 2021): Our client-focused approach allows us to not only understand your product in detail but also yourself and your company. We exist to become an extension of your operations, acting as your manufacturing arm, your eyes and ears when it comes to realising your product. Component traceability and authorised supply chain management are at the core of our quality management system, which further extends into internal control of your design, along with documentation and associated manufacturing files.
Q: What are your favourite activities outside of work? What are you most enthusiastic about?
I like sports, it brings a good balance to engineering and problem-solving. I’m an active soccer player, cyclist and in the winter you will find me snowboarding whenever I can get down to there. Like most engineers, the home project to-do list is endless.
Q: Where did you grow up?
I was born in former Yugoslavia and grew up in Serbia. I moved to Australia in 2000 when I was twelve years old. My family is spread around the world so I’m always travelling for family reunions.