Saturday, March 19, 2016

Industrial Engineers and the Make in India Initiative in India

There is an article "Industrial Engineers and the Manufacturing Renaissance" in Industry Week.

NC State University's Industrial Engineering Profesor Paul Cohen made some interesting points that are relevant to Industrial Engineering Education in India.

We have entered the era of Manufacturing 2.0, where both shop floor employees and engineers will need new skills for more advanced manufacturing.

One of the primary skills is the ability to use information technology to connect all the pieces of a more complex, interdependent manufacturing environment. Additive manufacturing will contribute to a very distributed supply chain and it is to be in a network as designs can be sent over the network to 3D printing firms.

There is also a major challenge in teaching engineers how to design products to take advantage of 3D printing.  Certain geometries that can’t be produced with other processes can be produced using  3D printing processes.

Industrial engineers can identify cost reduction opportunties in producing components using 3D printing processes.

Industrial engineers in particular deal with people from the shop floor to the boardroom. So they should be able to communicate with everybody. So education in communication skills is essential for IEs.

The U.S. does not have enough industrial engineers moving through the educational pipeline. Cohen cites a 2012 article in The New York Times that examined the production ramp-up for Apple’s iPhone. The article noted that 8,700 industrial engineers were needed to oversee the 200,000 employees of Foxconn who would manufacture the phones. Apple estimated that it would take nine months to find that number of engineers in the U.S. But in China, it took only 15 days. That shows China is developing more IEs

According to Cohen, U.S., produces 3,300 industrial engineers a year.

How many IEs are produced in India through universities.  In India, we need to recognize the importance of IE stream and take steps to strengthen the stream.

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