Manufacturing engineering is a job which requires a very high level of technical expertise as it involves designing new processes and improving the existing ones. The scope of this job stretches to all industries where some manufacturing work is done like pharmaceuticals, FMCG’s, fertilizer, paints, car manufacturers and many more.
The main work of a manufacturing engineer is to ensure that the manufacturing process that is in place is up to the mark and efficient. The design should be such that the process is cost effective and efficient which means it must lead to high productivity levels, lower wastages and minimal waiting times. The efficiency of the production process is crucial to the organizations well being. A well designed process would lead to cost savings for the organization and give it competitive edge. For example having quality built into the process would save resources on maintaining a separate quality control department.
Apart from designing and improving the manufacturing process the other duties which a manufacturing engineer needs to perform are:
- Make sure that all the processes and systems in the organization are well integrated
- Ensure that the manufacturing process adheres to the relevant safety standards
- Keep an update on the repairs and maintenance so the production process continues without any disruption
- Design and implement automated systems
- Develop prototypes of machines and system and test them before implementing them
- Hire junior engineers
- Coordinate with the research and development department to keep the systems in pace with the product requirements
- Keep themselves up to date with the latest machinery models and attend training sessions and workshops to incorporate the best manufacturing processes into the organizations system
A job of a manufacturing engineer is very technical as he needs to deal with the latest machinery and processes that have a huge impact on the production levels and in turn an organizations profitability. Some skills which a manufacturing engineer must possess are:
- Sound technical knowledge
- Engineering background
- Coordination and communication skills
- Must be tech savvy
- Skill in Microsoft excel, PowerPoint and project
- Have knowledge of Computer Aided Design(CAD) and Computer Aided Manufacture(CAM)
- Be able to lead teams
- Can understand how a single work unit fits into the broader picture
- Can foresee changes in production technology
The manufacturing engineer needs to divide his time between head office and the factory. He needs to be on the factory floor to understand the production process in and out. He needs to be at the head office to coordinate with the other departments and alter the production processes as per their requirement. Therefore work environment would vary from professional employees in an air conditioned environment to floor workers in a loud and noisy environment.
The job requires the person to be a certified manufacturing engineer. Other qualification would include CAD/CAM certifications and experience of manufacturing and assembly operations.
Tips for the job
To be successful at the job of a manufacturing engineer some of the tips that can come in handy are:
- Think of the small changes that can be brought into the system by following the Kaizen philosophy
- Make substantial changes after careful consideration and only if the effort is worth the effects it will bring
- Work with even the lowest level worker as these people have direct exposure to the assembly line.