Manufacturing Engineering

General Overview

Manufacturing engineering is a field of mechanical engineering that looks at the development of processes and procedures to ensure that design intent is met for physical products. It focuses not only on engineering physics and mathematics but the management and planning of production to ensure product quality is of a high standard, budgets and timing deadlines are met and new products are able to be easily integrate into current processes, utilising equipment already in place and lines that are already running. This can be summarised by stating that manufacturing engineering looks at how a product can be created from raw materials utilising the most efficient processes at the least cost. It is vital that manufacturing engineers integrate with other areas of engineering such as design engineers, project managers, quality engineers to ensure that all goals of a project are met without any disputes between cross-functional teams.

 

Manufacturing engineering is a very broad subject and requires an understanding of many different engineering disciplines. This enables the manufacturing teams to understand the appropriate specifications and intents that have been engineered into the products. The subjects that they need to understand include; materials science, manufacturing processes, design and technical drafting, process control, quality control and an overall strong project management understanding. Manufacturing engineering is also important for managing that the design intent is achieved. This looks at taking into account manufacturing processes and their respective tolerances and utilising correct jig and fixturing techniques to ensure that components are combined together effectively and meet their required standards. An example of this is various body structures components, comprised of different materials and manufacturing processes, being fabricated correctly to achieve a full body-in-white structure and then allow for interfacing components and systems to correctly fit onto the structure. Such components and systems include interior and exterior trim and electrical harnesses.

 

Manufacturing engineering has become increasingly important in a modern technological society with the introduction into new automation processes for production of products. This gives an extra level of complexity to manufacturing engineers’ jobs. Its historical routes come from the 19th century when products such as ships, mass produced clothing and power plants were introduced into society. Focusing on the textiles industry, engineers found specific ways to perform their labor at a faster rate. This is really the baseline starting point of manufacturing engineering as we know it today. The industry was further progressed when automobiles began to be produced. Henry Ford, often considered the grandfather of manufacturing engineering brought efficiency and productivity to a new level through the creation of the production line for Ford’s Model T.

The first production line developed by Henry Ford for the Ford Model T against a modern production line utilising robotics to improve efficiency. Sources: www.blogs.adobe.comwww.mechanicalengineeringblog.com

Required Knowledge

Skills and Expertise

  • Project Management

  • General Engineering Understanding

  • Understanding of Manufacturing Processes

  • Strong Knowledge of Quality Processes

  • Strong Knowledge of Lean Manufacturing

 

Software Understanding

  • Microsoft Excel, Word, Powerpoint and Project

  • Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) Software (Autodesk Fusion, Catia NC Programming, MasterCAM, SIemens SINUMERIK CNC)

  • Quality Management Software (In-house developed software, IQMS, WorkWise, UniPoint)

Example Jobs
  • CNC Programmers

  • Quality Engineers

  • Project Managers

  • Manufacturing Process Engineers

  • Robotics Software Engineers

  • Maintenance Engineers

  • Process Engineers

  • Jig and Fixture Design Engineers

  • Geometry Engineers

Institutions

UK: British Engineering & Manufacturing Association (BEMA), Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), The Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET)

USA: American Society for Precision Engineering (ASPE), The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME)

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