Saturday, June 27, 2015

Knowledge Required for Value Engineering Application and Practice

Value engineering involves application of value engineering approach and techniques to engineering knowledge in the case of products and processes in engineering industries.

Nature of Knowledge

The value analyst needs special tools and special knowledge to identify unnecessary costs and produce designs that avoid these unnecessary costs.

Difference in the knowledge between a specialist design engineer and value engineer.

A heat transfer specialist must possess accumulated knowledge in great volume pertaining to materials, heat conductivity, and practicable shapes and ideas for providing, preventing, or controlling the flow of heat.

In contrast, the special knowledge required for value engineering is extremely broad. It does not consist of knowledge in depth in any specific field of product design. Value engineer has to deal with and explore a multitude of technologies and product areas  to redesign the product assigned so that they give optimum performance and have optimum cost.

Value analyst or engineer requires information on materials, processes, functional products, sources of functional knowledge, approaches to function performances, practical ideas for economic function solutions. The best value alternative is the best combination of materials, processes and related ideas that combine to give a solution that secures the reliable performance of the desired  function or functions at the lowest cost.

A library of knowledge media like books, magazines, journals and information created and sent by various manufacturers, consultants and business organizations has to be maintained. In the current age computer based and web based knowledge sources also have to be maintained by the value engineering departments. But a library may still be insufficient. To achieve the value alternatives, apart from having a library of appropriate knowledge, the value engineer needs to develop channels for ready access to new information on materials, processes and suppliers of materials, processes and components. So a well organized references to sources of special skills needs to be maintained by value engineers.  Addresses of various consultants and faculty of academic institutions have to be maintained by the value engineering department.
In the case of various materials and processes, there must be enough knowledge available to make a preliminary evaluation of the suitability of the material, the product, the modified product, or the process to effectively accomplish the function involved, together with a reasonable amount of comparative information concerning costs.

Form of Knowledge

Handbooks, catalogues, charts, price lists, product and process descriptions, and tables etc. are forms of knowledge. L.D. Miles, the founder of value engineering recommends development of linking properties and costs also.

Reach or Depth of Knowledge

Value engineers are going to be less in number compared to performance engineers in any organization. Therefore value engineers are asked to work on variety of products and components related to various engineering disciplines. Therefore, the knowledge required for high-grade value work is extremely broad. A value engineer can't be expected to have in depth knowledge in any specific field.  But he needs to have broad knowledge that helps in recognizing specific materials and technologies from the multitude that have promise to provide optimum value for the product he is appraising and consulting.
1. Miles, L.D., Techniques of Value Analysis and Engineering, First Edition, McGraw Hill Book Company, New York, 1961.

2. Chapter 10 of Miles, L.D., Techniques of Value Analysis and Engineering, Second Edition, McGraw Hill Book Company, New York,

Original knol - 2utb2lsm2k7a/ 3890

Updated  27 June 2015
First published  30 March 2012

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