Friday, February 21, 2014

Industrial Engineering - Productivity Enhancing Technology Development

1000th Published Post in Industrial Engineering Knowledge Center Blog

What is Industrial Engineering?

Industrial Engineering is Human Effort Engineering and System Efficiency Engineering.

Technology is a subsystem in the Systems made efficient by industrial engineers. Hence creating efficient technology or more productive technology is a task of industrial engineering. So we can say one task of industrial engineering is productivity enhancing technology development. Technology mean products and processes. Industrial engineers need to specialise. Industrial engineers with mechanical engineering background will work primarily on mechanical engineering products and processes and make them more efficient. Civil engineers with industrial engineering specialisation will primarily work on structures and construction processes.

Industrial engineering has techniques like value engineering (product design efficiency engineering), methods efficiency engineering, optimization techniques, six sigma and simulation which facilitate efficiency/productivity improvement. All these techniques help industrial engineers to systematically identify efficient engineering alternatives. Hence engineers in various branches are to be given industrial engineering education to develop the capabilities in them to develop more productive technologies in their branch of engineering.

While industrial engineers keep working towards making technologies more productive, there are other engineers who are making new product, who are improving products by adding more features and engineers who are guiding operators in using the technology.

The data bases of industrial engineers are more cost oriented and efficient oriented. An vendor trying to sell a more efficient technical device in a company should visit industrial engineers and industrial engineer has to welcome him. Engineering economic analysis is the discipline that helps industrial engineers to do economic feasibility analysis of the new device. His engineering background helps him to do the technical analysis.

Industrial Engineers have to develop special purpose machines that have more productivity than general purpose machines.

They have to develop jigs and fixtures which help in improving productivity.

They have to select tools and design special tools to improve productivity.

Material handling is another area ripe for productivity improvement.

Inspection tools also can be made more efficient.

Special Purpose Machines

SPMs are very useful for producing large quantities of high quality products at low costs. These machines can also be altered to produce similar components when necessary as modular components and systems are now available to develop SPMs. High accuracy, uniform quality, and large production quantities are important characteristics of SPMs. However, the inadequate knowledge of machining specialists with this technology has resulted in its low utilization in manufacturing firms.

In this article a detailed discussion of SPMs, their capabilities and accessories have been described. It also explained the development of a KBES to assist SPM users in deciding whether or not to make use of SPMs for a given production task. An  analysis was made on the basis of technical and economical considerations. In a  case study  presented in the paper for the given production task SPM would result in a significant 59% reduction of costs when compared to CNC, and an unbelievable 95.5% cost reduction was achieved when compared to traditional lathe.
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Industrial engineers have to take the responsibility for development of special purpose machines.

Operation Analysis described H.B. Maynard clearly brought the role of industrial engineering in analysing material, equipment, cutting tools, jigs and fixtures, material handling and work station design.

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