Career

Production Engineering 101

1. Introduction

Production engineering is a branch of professional engineering that deals with planning, designing, developing and managing various operations to produce high quality products. 

It includes processes such as the design development, implementation, operation, maintenance and control of all activities in the manufacture of a product.

The production engineer’s primary focus is to turn raw material into an updated or new product in the most effective, efficient & economic way possible. An example would be a company that uses computer integrated technology in order to produce their product so that it’s faster and uses less human labor.

The goal is to accomplish the production process in the smoothest, most judicious and most economical way.

2. Objective

The aim of production engineers is to make the maximum production with minimum wastage and in minimum time with optimum use of available resources and with better technology.

The main objective of Production Engineering are:- 

Efficiency: Increased output for a given input.

Productivity: Increased production using given resources.

Economy: Producing products at a reduced cost and time.

Quality: Better quality will satisfy customers and will retain their loyalty.

Quantity: The manufacturing organisation should produce the products in right number.

3. Sub-disciplines

●Mechanics:-

It is the study of forces and their effects on matter.

There are two main types of mechanics, Classical Mechanics and Quantum Mechanics.

Classical Mechanics, attempts to use Newton’s basic laws of motion to describe how a body will react when that body undergoes a force. Quantum mechanics deals with the behaviour of matter and light on the atomic and subatomic.

●Drafting

Drafting or technical drawing is the means by which manufacturers create instructions for manufacturing parts. A technical drawing can be a computer model or hand-drawn schematic showing all the dimensions necessary to manufacture a part, as well as assembly notes, a list of required materials, and other pertinent information.

●Metal fabrication and machine tools

Metal fabrication is the building of metal structures by cutting, bending, and assembling processes. Technologies such as electron beam melting, laser engineered net shape, and direct metal laser sintering have allowed for the production of metal structures to become much less difficult when compared to other conventional metal fabrication methods.

●Computer integrated manufacturing

Computer-integrated manufacturing (CIM) is the manufacturing approach of using computers to control the entire production process. Computer-integrated manufacturing is used in automotive, aviation, space and ship building industries. It allows data, through various sensing mechanisms to be observed during manufacturing. This type of manufacturing has computers controlling and observing every part of the process. This gives CIM a unique advantage over other manufacturing processes.

●Mechatronics

Mechatronics is an engineering discipline that deals with the convergence of electrical, mechanical and manufacturing systems. Examples include automated manufacturing systems, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems, and various aircraft and automobile subsystems.A mechatronic system typically includes motors, controllers, sensors, actuators and digital hardware. Mechatronics is greatly used in various applications of industrial processes and in automation.

4. Responsibilities

 1.Supervising the manufacturing processes, ensuring quality work is done in a safe and efficient manner.

 2.Liaising with other engineers to develop plans that improve production, costs and labor required.

 3.Diagnosing problems in the production line and providing recommendations and training.

 4.Establishing safety procedures and protocols that take the workers’ well-being into account and that also minimize the carbon footprint.

5.Keeping abreast of advancements in engineering and production and sharing knowledge with co-workers.

6.Identifying, documenting and reporting unsafe practices.

7.Drawing up production schedules and budgets for projects.

8.Scheduling meetings with relevant departments and stakeholders.

9.Analyzing all facets of production and making recommendations for improvement.

10.Obtaining any materials and equipment required.

5. Skills Required

●Communication Skills

Communication skills are a key component to success in any job. As a production engineer, you’ll need to know how to communicate your ideas concisely and clearly to your fellow engineers. 

In addition to communication with other engineers, you’ll have to work with people who are non-technical. Some projects require you to collaborate with team members who are from other departments..

Some examples of soft skills needed for communication are:

○Writing skills

○Presentation and public speaking

○Non-verbal and verbal communication 

○Patience

○Diplomacy

○Problem-solving

○Negotiations

●Leadership Skills

As a leader, you want to be someone that other people look to for mentorship, guidance, and structure.

As a production engineer, you’ll need to take workplace challenges head-on. At the same time, you’ll need to instill trust in those working below you.

One way to improve your leadership skills is by making well-thought-out decisions under pressure.

●Project Management

Project management is the use of specific knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to deliver something of value to people. They are the essential components of the organization.

•Importance of project management are:

Risk management

Organization

Strategic planning

Critical thinking

Scheduling

Quality control 

●Being Open To Feedback

Being able to accept both positive and negative feedback is vital as an engineer. You also need to learn how to apply the feedback accordingly. In the interview process, you may be asked questions about how to respond to feedback so the interviewer can gauge if you can accept it in a suitable manner. 

Some soft skills that relate to being open to feedback include:

Resilience

Adaptability

Flexibility

Respectfulness

Cooperation

Emotion management 

Humility

●CAD Software

Used by engineers, architects and construction managers, CAD has replaced manual drafting. It helps users create designs in either 2D or 3D so that they can visualize the construction.

CAD enables the development, modification, and optimization of the design process.

●Proficiency In MS Office 

Irrespective of the branch of engineering, proficiency in MS office is of utmost importance in both corporate and academic domains. Drafting a good report, auditing, preparation of spreadsheets, data handling, presentations, etc. are some of the tasks you will come across as a production engineer.

●Programming Language

The role of production engineer is going through a drastic changes these days. We are entering into the era of industry where technology domains like coding, machines learning, big data and IoT(Internet of Things) are dominating the landscape. Programming skills provide engineers with an opportunity to integrate innovative technologies into their everyday work and make it more efficient.

6. Careers & Jobs

There are enormous job options you will get after completing the graduation degree in production engineering.

With a degree in production engineering you can get jobs in automobile industries, manufacturing industries, food processing industries, construction industries, refining industries and many other government and private departments.

Job Titles:

Production Engineer

Production engineers are responsible for supervising and improving production at plants and factories. They support engineering teams, draw up safety protocols, report issues to the manager, and develop strategies to improve efficiency and profit.

Process Engineer

Process engineers are professionals who help to transform raw materials into finished products. They play a vital role in the manufacturing divisions associated with most industries, including agriculture, lifestyle, chemical, energy, infrastructure and health care.

Quality Engineers

When it comes to quality engineering, the goal is always a quality product. Starting with the initial product concept through to the manufacturing stages, a quality engineer oversees it all, which is why this person plays a crucial role in ensuring products are manufactured at only the highest standard and without defects.

Industrial Managers

Industrial production managers oversee the daily operations of manufacturing and related plants. They coordinate, plan, and direct the activities used to create a wide range of goods, such as cars, computer equipment, or paper products.

Operations Analyst

An Operations Analyst is responsible for identifying and solving issues relating to the performance of the business operations. To do so, vast amounts of data and information must be analyzed and reviewed with the cooperation of the sales management and engineering departments.

Management Engineer

They’re responsible for planning, designing and giving direction to the engineering team. They often oversee engineering projects taking place in their organisation. Since this is a specialised role, management engineers also offer guidance and assess the technical accuracy of engineering projects

Manufacturing Engineer

Manufacturing Engineers focus on the design and operation of integrated systems for the production of high-quality, economically competitive products. These systems may include computer networks, robots, machine tools, and materials-handling equipment.

Top Recruiters who recruit production engineers are:

National Thermal Power Corporation

Aditya Birla

Larsen & Toubro

Indraprastha Gas Limited

Cairn India

Reliance Industries

Sterlite Industries

7. Conclusion

Production Engineering is a backbone of every industry. A production engineer is responsible for handling all the production-related processes for the smooth functioning of the production process

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.