Manufacturing engineering refers to a segment of engineering that deals with manufacturing practices such as research, design, development, processes, machines, equipment, tools and specifications. There are “manufacturing engineers,” whom are responsible for converting raw materials into a finished product, all while emphasizing cost-efficiency and maximum productivity.
Duties of Manufacturing Engineers
Manufacturing engineers have a wide range of duties pertaining to the manufacturing of products from raw materials. The ultimate goal is to turn raw materials into finished products. To achieve this, however, manufacturing engineers must familiarize themselves with the processes and equipment used in their respective workplace.
Some of the principles used by manufacturing engineers includes the following:
- Putting out system
- American system of manufacturing
- Mass production
- Computer integrated manufacturing
- Just in time manufacturing
- Lean manufacturing
- Flexible manufacturing
- Mass customization
- Agile manufacturing
- Rapid manufacturing
According to Wikipedia, manufacturing engineers are typically required to possess an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in engineering, along with a major in manufacturing engineering. This means professionals seeking to become a manufacturing engineer must invest two to five years in their education, following by another five years of practice in order to qualify.
History of Manufacturing Engineering
Manufacturing engineering isn’t a new concept; rather, it’s been around for centuries. Most historians credit Matthew Boulton’s Soho Manufacturing as the first true manufacturing facility. Boulton opened his factory in 1761, laying the groundwork for modern-day manufacturing engineering. However, there was a silk milk opened in Derby 1721, which some historians also cite as being the first manufacturing facility. Regardless of which facility came first, the general consensus is that manufacturing engineering came to light in the mid-18th century.
Of course, advancements in modern technology have changed the way in which manufacturing engineers perform their duties. Many manufacturing facilities, for instance, now automate tasks that were once performed manually. Automated manufacturing involves the use of robots and other automated processes to streamline manufacturing in a factory. There are countless advantages associated with automated manufacturing, including quality control, reduced lead times, simplification of production, improved productivity, improved worker morale, reduced rates of worker injury, and improved handling.
Automated manufacturing often uses robots to achieve this automation. However, even with robots, there’s still need a human workers. Manufacturing engineers may control and guide the robots to help perform their respective function.
Hopefully, this gives you a better understanding of manufacturing engineering.