Sunday, June 14, 2015

Purpose, Methods and Application Areas of Industrial Engineering

What is the purpose of industrial engineering? How is it different from the purpose of engineering of various disciplines and management of various areas? What are industrial engineering methods and techniques? In what areas IE is applied? These questions were answered by different people at various places.

My answer is purpose of IE is redesign of engineering products, processes and engineering goods and services production systems for reducing cost of products and processes. Engineering is concerned with original technical design. Managers are concerned with customer requirements, recruiting and directing engineers to create products and production systems that satisfy customers and interacting with customers to deliver products and collect payments.

Industrial Engineers are concerned with continuous improvement of product designs, production processes and production systems to increase productivity, eliminate waste and reduce costs.

The IE methods can be categorised into 1. Product design efficiency improvement. 2. Methods efficiency improvement 3. IE optimization 4. IE statistics . 5 IE Economics 6. Human effort engineering 7. Work measurment, cost measurement, and productivity measurement 8. Management of IE studies, projects and departments.

I feel IE curriculums must have these components and number of subjects that explain each area so that an IE graduate can deliver these services in an integrated fashion in an engineering organization.

In an engineering organization, the primary areas for attention of industrial engineers are technical processes.  The experience gained by industrial engineers in improving technical areas can be used to improve business processes and management processes. Every individual Industrial engineer, must first be inducted into IE profession through study and improvement of technical areas of the organization.

From Chapter 1.5 Management's Use of Industrial Engineering by J. Keith Louden, Vice President and Fellow, American Management Association, President's Professional Association, New York

Industrial Engineering Handbook, H.B. Maynard, Second Edition

Objective of Industrial Engineering

The end result of the industrial engineering function is profit improvement. The line manager of a department is actually responsible for profit improvement in his department. He is aided materially by the industrial engineering function.

Manufacturing Functions Use of Industrial Engineering

Industrial engineering was born in the shop.

The manufacturing executive look to IE department to establish standards of measurement for every phase of manufacturing operations. He expected aid in simplifying work regardless of its nature or where it is performed. He also wants IE to define each job function and to evaluate each in comparison with others and determine relative worth. To establish controls and measuring sticks, so that manufacturing activities are better managed.

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