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Methods engineering is a subspecialty of industrial engineering and manufacturing engineering concerned with human integration in industrial production processes.
Industrial engineering is an inter-disciplinary profession that is concerned with the optimization of complex processes, systems, or organizations by developing, improving and implementing integrated systems of people, money, knowledge, information, equipment, energy and materials.
Manufacturing Engineering is a branch of professional engineering. Manufacturing engineering requires the ability to plan the practices of manufacturing; to research and to develop tools, processes, machines and equipment; and to integrate the facilities and systems for producing quality products with the optimum expenditure of capital.
Alternatively it can be described as the design of the productive process in which a person is involved. The task of the Methods engineer is to decide where humans will be utilized in the process of converting raw materials to finished products and how workers can most effectively perform their assigned tasks.The terms operation analysis, work design and simplification, and methods engineering and corporate re-engineering are frequently used interchangeably.
Lowering costs and increasing reliability and productivity are the objectives of methods engineering. These objectives are met in a five step sequence as follows: Project selection, data acquisition and presentation, data analysis, development of an ideal method based on the data analysis and, finally, presentation and implementation of the method.
Methods engineers typically work on projects involving new product design, products with a high cost of production to profit ratio, and products associated with having poor quality issues. Different methods of project selection include the Pareto analysis, fish diagrams, Gantt charts, PERT charts, and job/work site analysis guides.
Pareto analysis is a formal technique useful where many possible courses of action are competing for attention. In essence, the problem-solver estimates the benefit delivered by each action, then selects a number of the most effective actions that deliver a total benefit reasonably close to the maximal possible one.
A Gantt chart is a type of bar chart that illustrates a project schedule, named after its inventor, Henry Gantt (1861–1919), who designed such a chart around the years 1910–1915. Modern Gantt charts also show the dependency relationships between activities and current schedule status.
Data that needs to be collected are specification sheets for the product, design drawings, quantity and delivery requirements, and projections as to how the product will perform or has performed in the market. The Gantt process chart can assist in the analysis of the man to machine interaction and it can aid in establishing the optimum number of workers and machines subject to the financial constraints of the operation. A flow diagram is frequently employed to represent the manufacturing process associated with the product.
Data analysis enables the methods engineer to make decisions about several things, including: purpose of the operation, part design characteristics, specifications and tolerances of parts, materials, manufacturing process design, setup and tooling, working conditions, material handling, plant layout, and workplace design.Knowing the specifics (who, what, when, where, why, and how) of product manufacturing assists in the development of an optimum manufacturing method.
Equations of synchronous and random servicing as well as line balancing are used to determine the ideal worker to machine ratio for the process or product chosen. Synchronous servicing is defined as the process where a machine is assigned to more than one operator, and the assigned operators and machine are occupied during the whole operating cycle. Random servicing of a facility, as the name indicates, is defined as a servicing process with a random time of occurrence and need of servicing variables. Line balancing equations determine the ideal number of workers needed on a production line to enable it to work at capacity.
The industrial process or operation can be optimized using a variety of available methods. Each method design has its advantages and disadvantages. The best overall method is chosen using selection criteria and concepts involving value engineering, cost-benefit analysis, crossover charts, and economic analysis. The outcome of the selection process is then presented to the company for implementation at the plant. This last step involves "selling the idea" to the company brass, a skill the methods engineer must develop in addition to the normal engineering qualifications.
Value engineering (VE) is a systematic method to improve the "value" of goods or products and services by using an examination of function. Value, as defined, is the ratio of function to cost. Value can therefore be manipulated by either improving the function or reducing the cost. It is a primary tenet of value engineering that basic functions be preserved and not be reduced as a consequence of pursuing value improvements.
Engineering statistics combines engineering and statistics using scientific methods for analyzing data. Engineering statistics involves data concerning manufacturing processes such as: component dimensions, tolerances, type of material, and fabrication process control. There are many methods used in engineering analysis and they are often displayed as histograms to give a visual of the data as opposed to being just numerical. Examples of methods are:
Systems engineering is an interdisciplinary field of engineering and engineering management that focuses on how to design and manage complex systems over their life cycles. At its core, systems engineering utilizes systems thinking principles to organize this body of knowledge. The individual outcome of such efforts, an engineered system, can be defined as a combination of components that work in synergy to collectively perform a useful function.
PTC Creo, formerly known as Pro/ENGINEER and Wildfire, is a 3D CAD, CAM, CAE, and associative solid modelling app. It is one of a suite of 10 collaborative applications that provide solid modelling, assembly modelling, 2D orthographic views, finite element analysis, direct and parametric modelling, sub-divisional and NURBS surface modelling, and NC and tooling functionality for mechanical designers. Creo Elements/Parametric compete directly with Solidworks, CATIA, and NX/Solid Edge. It was created by Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC) and was the first of its kind to market.
Henry Laurence Gantt, A.B., M.E. was an American mechanical engineer and management consultant who is best known for his work in the development of scientific management. He created the Gantt chart in the 1910s.
Engineering management is the application of the practice of management to the practice of engineering.
Statistical process control (SPC) is a method of quality control which employs statistical methods to monitor and control a process. This helps to ensure that the process operates efficiently, producing more specification-conforming products with less waste. SPC can be applied to any process where the "conforming product" output can be measured. Key tools used in SPC include run charts, control charts, a focus on continuous improvement, and the design of experiments. An example of a process where SPC is applied is manufacturing lines.
In industry, product lifecycle management (PLM) is the process of managing the entire lifecycle of a product from inception, through engineering design and manufacture, to service and disposal of manufactured products. PLM integrates people, data, processes and business systems and provides a product information backbone for companies and their extended enterprise.
Process engineering is the understanding and application of the fundamental principles and laws of nature that allow us to transform raw material and energy into products that are useful to society, an industrial level. By taking advantage of the driving forces of nature such as pressure, temperature and concentration gradients, as well as the law of conservation of mass, process engineers can develop methods to synthesize and purify large quantities of desired chemical products. Process engineering focuses on the design, operation, control, optimization and intensification of chemical, physical, and biological processes. Process engineering encompasses a vast range of industries, such as agriculture, automotive, biotechnical, chemical, food, material development, mining, nuclear, petrochemical, pharmaceutical, and software development. The application of systematic computer-based methods to process engineering is "process systems engineering".
Business process modeling (BPM) in business process management and systems engineering is the activity of representing processes of an enterprise, so that the current process may be analysed, improved, and automated. BPM is typically performed by business analysts, who provide expertise in the modeling discipline; by subject matter experts, who have specialized knowledge of the processes being modelled; or more commonly by a team comprising both. Alternatively, the process model can be derived directly from events' logs using process mining tools.
A design engineer is a person who may be involved in any of various engineering disciplines including civil, mechanical, electrical, chemical, textiles, aerospace, nuclear, manufacturing, systems, and structural /building/architectural. Design engineers tend to work on products and systems that involve adapting and using complex scientific and mathematical techniques. The emphasis tends to be on utilizing engineering physics and sciences to develop solutions for society.
Operations management is an area of management concerned with designing and controlling the process of production and redesigning business operations in the production of goods or services. It involves the responsibility of ensuring that business operations are efficient in terms of using as few resources as needed and effective in terms of meeting customer requirements. Operations management is primarily concerned with planning, organizing and supervising in the contexts of production, manufacturing or the provision of services.
Computer-aided production engineering (CAPE) is a relatively new and significant branch of engineering. Global manufacturing has changed the environment in which goods are produced. Meanwhile, the rapid development of electronics and communication technologies has required design and manufacturing to keep pace.
Scheduling is the process of arranging, controlling and optimizing work and workloads in a production process or manufacturing process. Scheduling is used to allocate plant and machinery resources, plan human resources, plan production processes and purchase materials.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to management:
The engineering design process is a methodical series of steps that engineers use in creating functional products and processes. The process is highly iterative - parts of the process often need to be repeated many times before another can be entered - though the part(s) that get iterated and the number of such cycles in any given project may vary.
…It is a decision making process in which the basic sciences, mathematics, and engineering sciences are applied to convert resources optimally to meet a stated objective. Among the fundamental elements of the design process are the establishment of objectives and criteria, synthesis, analysis, construction, testing and evaluation.
For the application of engineering economics in the practice of civil engineering see Engineering economics.
Industrial and Production Engineering (IPE) is an interdisciplinary engineering discipline that includes manufacturing technology, engineering sciences, management science, and optimization of complex processes, systems, or organizations. It is concerned with the understanding and application of Engineering Procedures in Manufacturing Processes and Production Methods. Industrial Engineering dates back all the way to the industrial revolution, initiated in 1700s by Sir Adam Smith, Henry Ford, Eli Whitney, Frank Gilbreth and Lilian Gilbreth, Henry Gantt, F.W. Taylor, etc. After the 1970s, industrial and production engineering developed worldwide and started to widely use automation and robotics. Industrial and production Engineering includes three areas: Mechanical Engineering, Industrial Engineering, and Management Science. The main objective for people within this discipline is to improve efficiency, drive up effectiveness of manufacturing, quality control, and to reduce cost while making their products more attractive and marketable. Industrial engineering is concerned with the development, improvement, and implementation of integrated systems of people, money, knowledge, information, equipment, energy, materials, as well as analysis and synthesis. The principles of IPE include mathematical, physical and social sciences and methods of engineering design to specify, predict, and evaluate the results to be obtained from the systems or processes currently in place or being developed. The target of production engineering is to complete the production process in the smoothest, most-judicious and most-economic way. Production engineering also overlaps substantially with manufacturing engineering and industrial engineering. The concept of production engineering is interchangeable with manufacturing engineering.
Charles Day was an American electrical, construction and consulting engineer, and co-founder of Day & Zimmermann. He is known as a specialist in public utility management and operation, and for his seminal contributions to flow charts and the routing diagram.