Quality in our car parts is important, would’t you say? I don’tknow about you, but I don’t want to drive down the road using mis-manufactured car parts. Today I had the pleasure of interviewing Matt Case who has been a with American Honda Motor Company for more than 15 years. He is a quality control specialist. Let’s hear about how he uses math at work.

Can you explain what you do for a living? 

I work as a quality control specialist for American Honda Motor Company, correcting supplier and packager errors. A supplier error results when we receive a notification from a supplier or dealer that a car parthas been mis-manufactured, meaning it wasn’t produced to Honda specifications, or that their is an error in the part’s packaging. My job is to investigate problems stated by dealer analysts and report my findings to them. I also give the recommendation for how to handle the mis-manufactured parts and packaging errors.

When do you use basic math in your job?

I use math when creating end-of-month reports using Excel. I also have to measure parts when investigating the claims. I compare the part to the manufacturer’s drawing detail by detail. I need to know how to find diameters and measure in millimeters as well as use calipers. At times I have to convert mm into inches.

Do you use any technology (like calculators or computers) to help with this math?  Why or why not?

I use Excel, calculators, and of course, a computer. I use a multiplication formula on my computer to do conversions.

How do you think math helps you do your job better? 

Math helps me ensure that parts are acceptable. If I didn’t have basic math skills, I wouldn’t know how to read the manufacturer’s drawing and compare it to the actual measurements of the part.

How comfortable with math do you feel?  Does this math feel different to you? 

I feel comfortable with basic math like addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. I’m not comfortable using algebra or more advanced math. Math doesn’t make me nervous at work or anything.

What kind of math did you take in high school?  Did you like it/feel like you were good at it?

In high school, I pretty much took basic math classes. During junior and senior year, I went to a trade school (Miami Valley Career Technology Center) where my math correlated with my trade which was engine rebuilding and machining. I can’t say that I liked math, but I did feel that I was competent in it.

Did you have to learn new skills in order to do the math you use in your job? Or was it something that you could pick up using the skills you learned in school?

I already knew how to do the math that I use at work.  Going to the trade school helped me learn how to use the tools that I use in my current position.

Anything else you want to mention?

Even though math may not be the most enjoyable subject, it is important to pay attention and understand the basics of math in order to further your skills as an adult and have a career.

Photo Credit: NiePhotography via Compfight cc

Interested in finding out more about this type of work?  Let me know any questions you have for Matt.