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Engineering Career Resources


Production Engineer Job Description

Production Engineer Job Description

A production engineer’s job is to apply principles of engineering, manufacturing technology and management science to the production process in order to make it as efficient as possible. The profession overlaps significantly with industrial and manufacturing engineering.

Production engineers ensure that the manufacturing process operates as smoothly as possible, reducing costly inefficiencies to a minimum. They are responsible for making sure that the manufacturing equipment is in good working order to make as much product as the marketplace dictates, with as little leftover scrap as possible.

Production engineers have a strong knowledge of the entire manufacturing process, from start to finish, as well as a working knowledge of the overall business needs and what customers need and expect. They work closely with business leaders, as well as employees involved in the manufacturing process, to identify and resolve potential problems that could lead to equipment failure. In addition, they are expected to implement cost-savings initiatives that remove non-value-added steps from the process, consequently saving time and money without impacting the quality of the finished product.

Skills

A production engineer must have extensive knowledge of math, statistics, design, production systems, and science, as well as a good awareness of the market and consumer needs. Production engineers are also expected to understand the changes in technology and assets to be able to improve their utilization, and to keep up with the increasingly sophisticated production methods that are constantly emerging in industry.

They need to possess organizational and leadership skills as they often supervise others as they perform the day-to-day work, and they need to be able to recommend solutions that address critical needs to senior management, who may not have the same level of technical knowledge of the manufacturing process as the production engineer.

Qualifications

Production engineers typically have a bachelor’s degree in an engineering field. They also might have a business or management degree. Many companies mandate that production engineers continue their education through required training courses in waste-reduction programs, such as Six Sigma or Lean initiatives.

Work

On any given day, the production engineer will meet with manufacturing employees to understand any inefficiencies or safety-related problems that could harm individuals or cause the production process to stall. He or she might meet with leadership to provide any updates on the process that need to be relayed to customers.

Depending on the nature of the work, a production engineer’s job can include the application of machine tools, automation, machining systems, fixtures, tool design, joining processes and castings. The production engineer will typically work on ergonomics and operation research, manage materials and be involved in production planning, focusing on the efficiency of the manufacturing system as a whole.

The production engineer will also meet with staff to understand the progress of efficiency-related initiatives and their performance in lowering the overall cost, while delivering the product the customers expect. While the production engineer’s actual involvement with the customer is limited, if any, he or she will understand the customer’s needs and will work to make sure those needs and expectations are fully met.