Saturday, June 13, 2015

Role of Industrial Engineer in Today's Engineering Organizations

William J. Zehe of Middough Inc. explained industrial engineering in the modern time. Some of the activities he described as extremely relevant to explain the role of industrial engineering very clearly.

As production technology evolves, markets and demand expand or contract,  cost control
continues to drive the competitive advantage,

The industrial engineer can evaluate manufacturing system designs, thereby avoiding costly production bottlenecks while at the same time minimizing "over design" often employed as a contingency in variable manufacturing situations.

Typically the role of the Industrial Engineer is to constantly strive to make things work better,
whether it involves processes, products, or systems. Industrial  engineer is the bridge between management goals and the company’s operational performance.

Typical Industrial Engineer’s activities:

• Productivity and methods improvement
• Manufacturing and distribution
• Integration of supply chain
• Quality measurement and improvement
• Ergonomics & human factors engineering


A key task in any manufacturing facility is to continuously reduce cost. Thus an important role
of the Industrial Engineer is continuing to fine tune a well oiled machine including
identification of improvements and manage implementation strategies. These tasks include:

Defining key production metrics
Define goals, measurement tools, data analysis strategies
Lead team to perform root cause analysis to improve weak performers
Develop capacity measurements
capital budgets and justifications
Continuous improvement
              Coordinate change programs
              Establish priorities, schedules and goals
              Provide on-going leadership to assure successful implementation


Managing the cost of getting a product to the market is paramount in being successful. Many
elements are involved in this process and must start at the design phase of the product.
Typically the Industrial Engineer is involved as the product matures and transforms from
the design phase into trial production and eventually to full scale production. The activities
associated with this include:

• Design for manufacturing and assembly reviews

o Identify any changes that would reduce the manufacturing cost without
compromising the design
• Methods and Procedures Analysis and Review
o Evaluate equipment capacities
• Develop product specific routings, special instructions, manufacturing standards
• Develop staffing requirements,
• Facilitate and lead continuous improvement teams
• Provide simulation of process flow

facilities rely on a number of suppliers to provide goods and/or
services for the products they produce. Integrating the suppliers into the manufacturing
more important in an effort to control costs in today’s
competitive environment. The Industrial Engineer is often the link between
manufacturing facility and the suppliers. The tasks typically include:

Controlling costs includes the development of processes and procedures for the manuf
of a product that incorporate the health and welfare of the employee tasked to provide the
goods and services. Most of the activities are associated with how the material is handled
during the production sequence, what tooling is utilized and what is the body position requ
of the employee during the production sequence. The Industrial Engineer will:
• Interface with applicable stake holders to insure ergonomics is incorporated into all
aspects of the product from development, design, manufacturing, material handling,
Working as team leader or integral team member
develop long range planning models for the facility, including
and manpower requirements. Th
• A rolling five year strategic plan updated annually
• Capacity planning and
• Implementation costs including capital justifications
• Preliminary financial impacts and ROI

sub tier to continuous improvement; an integral part of assuring
meets expectations. In this case the Industrial Engineer works in concert
company’s quality department or in some cases becomes the lead investigator to
quickly resolve issues affecting the product quality, either in house or issues with supplier
. These activities may include:
Root cause identification and implementation of corrective action including:
Process revisions
Material flow or handling revisions
Applicable training
Interface with design, production, and suppliers on quality related issues
Development of quality measurement tools, techniques and analysis

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