Manufacturing Engineer Job Description
Manufacturing engineers work on the development and improvement of tools, systems and equipment related to different practices of manufacturing, and generally their work involves machines used for turning raw materials into new products. Manufacturing engineers’ main job is to plan and coordinate manufacturing processes, as well as evaluate and improve manufacturing methods in industrial plants and manufacturing workshops. They also analyze the utilization of work force, workflow, and space requirements in order to achieve maximum efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
Their jobs can also entail the integration of systems and production facilities while being guided by the results of different studies of manufacturing practices, methods and systems, as well as by the principles of physics. Depending on the scale of the project, they can be in charge of the entire manufacturing process or just one step, and they can oversee production of all products or a single line.
Manufacturing engineers develop manufacturing processes and technologies, and their field of expertise overlaps with those of industrial engineers, operations managers, mechanical engineers, and sometimes electronic engineers.
Manufacturing engineers must be methodical, responsive, highly organized, have good analytical skills and initiative, and an excellent knowledge of materials, parts, product design, and quality standards and requirements. They must also have a good knowledge of the company’s technology, production capabilities, tools, and assembly methods, and be able to use CAD (computer-assisted design) tools.
Manufacturing engineers must be good at working within budget and meeting deadlines, and have an excellent understanding of health and safety issues and requirements. Since defining objectives is an important part of their job, clear communication skills are always a requirement. Leadership skills can be an asset if their work entails overseeing and coordination of technicians.
Manufacturing engineers typically have a degree in industrial engineering and are registered with a professional engineering association. Entry requirements are usually an honours degree in engineering or technology, but more and more engineers enter the field with a master’s degree because their career objectives include obtaining the status of chartered engineer, which both broadens their employment options and is more lucrative. A manufacturing engineer will normally have a degree in mechanical, manufacturing, electronic or chemical engineering.
Engineers with a bachelor’s degree can obtain the status of Incorporated engineer (IEng) after gaining some work experience, and chartered status requires a master’s degree (MEng).
Manufacturing engineers typically research product requirements and manufacturing methods in order to develop, design, modify and improve manufacturing processes. They test different methods and equipment with the goal of improving manufacturing efficiency. On the more practical side, they plan equipment layout and work flow, estimate costs of materials, production, labour, and future manufacturing requirements. Very frequently they collaborate with professionals from related fields, such as mechanical engineering, health, safety, accounting, and finance.
Manufacturing engineers also design testing methods for finished products, conduct tests, and prepare reports on efficiency, both the efficiency of products and of manufacturing processes. They usually develop methods of measuring the productivity of equipment performance and personnel.
Manufacturing engineers’ work can also include training technicians and guiding them through the manufacturing process. They are typically in charge of overseeing technical staff and monitoring operations once production is underway.