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Office News

From rags to riches

By James Njeke

The oil rag engineering industry gets a tech makeover 


The engineering industry has undergone a massive transformation in the past few decades. It has evolved from a traditional 'oil rag industry' to a 'tech-focused industry' that heavily relies on cutting-edge technology and automation. This shift has brought about many benefits, but it also has its downsides. 



  • Increased Efficiency: The use of technology and automation has significantly increased the efficiency of the engineering industry. Processes that once took days or weeks can now be completed in a matter of hours or minutes. 
  • Improved Accuracy: With the help of advanced software and equipment, engineers can now design and test complex systems with greater accuracy, reducing the likelihood of errors and costly mistakes. 
  • Greater Innovation: The engineering industry is now able to push the boundaries of what is possible thanks to advancements in technology. This has led to creating of new and innovative products and services that were previously unimaginable. 
  • Increased Safety: Automation and technology have made it possible to design and manufacture products that are safer and more reliable than ever before. This has led to a significant decrease in workplace accidents and fatalities.   


  • Job Losses: As the engineering industry becomes more automated and technology-focused, there is a risk that many jobs could be replaced by machines. This could lead to unemployment and economic instability. 
  • High Costs: The cost of investing in new technology and equipment can be prohibitively high, especially for smaller businesses. This could make it difficult for them to compete with larger companies that have more resources at their disposal. 
  • Skills Gap: The shift towards a tech-focused industry has created a skills gap, with many engineers lacking the necessary knowledge and experience to work with advanced technology. This could limit the potential of the industry and hinder its growth. 
  • Dependence on Technology: The engineering industry's dependence on technology could leave it vulnerable to cyber-attacks and other forms of technological disruption. This could lead to significant downtime and lost productivity.   

    In conclusion, the shift towards a tech-focused engineering industry has brought about many benefits, including increased efficiency, accuracy, innovation, and safety. However, it has its downsides, such as job losses, high costs, a skills gap, and dependence on technology. As the industry continues to evolve, it will be crucial to strike a balance between the benefits of technology and the need for human skills and expertise. 


    Our Managing Partner from Kenya, James Njeke, also observes the shift from the rudimentary tools of the past to the use of technology has revolutionized the practice of engineering. There is even more collaboration with other disciplines e.g. engineering and medicine.   


    Think about biomedical engineers designing prosthetics for amputee patients. Besides the foundational skills in science and math, they also require an understanding of some medical and anatomical concepts for them to design a working and medically acceptable prosthetic that not only has all the functional abilities but also doesn’t harm the patient. 


    As professional recruiters, we are positioned to be able to help our clients find the right talent to bridge the gap between traditional industry and the advances of technology.  Our global teams are on hand to assist you with your international projects so please contact us today.   

Written by:         Ashleigh Fitzgerald & James Njeke 

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