Manufacturing Engineering is an umbrella term used to refer to a group of disciplines and sub-disciplines that fall under the umbrella of engineering. Manufacturing Engineering combines computer science, mechanics, chemistry, and metallurgy together in one area. Manufacturing Engineers can also be referred to as Production Engineers, Quality Assurance Engineers, or Process Safety Officers.
Manufacturing Engineering shares many common concepts with other fields of engineering including chemical, mechanical, electrical, and civil engineering. However, it differs in that production engineers often apply these disciplines together in order to improve the overall quality of the products produced. This process is known as process improvement.
A major goal of manufacturing engineers is to develop processes and methods that improve the quality of the products produced and at the same time reduce costs. Many engineers are concerned with reducing waste and improving product quality because they believe this is an important part of their job.
Product quality may be improved by using higher quality raw materials and processes, using low-cost processes, using advanced equipment and processes, using quality control procedures, controlling the speed of production, and minimizing downtime. The most cost effective manufacturing systems use only the best available materials, processes, and equipment.
The products produced are typically of superior quality and the finished products are durable. The systems used include processes and materials used in manufacturing processes, production monitoring and control, product design and analysis, process control, quality assurance procedures, and quality control and quality management.
Manufacturing Engineering is common in manufacturing facilities for large companies, like Wal-Mart or General Motors, that produce millions of dollars of goods annually. Many smaller companies also have departments within the company for manufacturing. Many companies have their own production departments and there is considerable overlap between them.
Manufacturing Engineering does not have to involve the manufacturing department as it has been traditionally thought of, but it can involve the research and development (R&D) department. A small to medium sized business might need assistance in the form of a consultant to help with design and development, or a management staff to oversee the R&D process.
In addition to manufacturing engineers, Manufacturing Engineering also includes quality assurance officers (QAO's) and quality control personnel, or QCs. The roles of these professionals are vital to quality assurance, both in products and services.
Quality assurance in products is required in all . . . . . . industries where products must be delivered on time and within acceptable quality levels. It ensures the highest level of consumer satisfaction for the products purchased by the consumer.