Understanding the Importance of Industrial Engineers
Industrial engineering is a big part of any economy. It is through it that production is increased and workers are kept safe through use of the right equipment and systems. The manufacturing industry can not survive without industrial engineering. There are a lot of components that are involved in industrial engineering. Over the years, the scope of industrial engineers has widened to cover more. Here are some of the elements involved;
• Ergonomics (work safety)
• Supply Chain Management
• Quality Engineering
• Systems Engineering
• Operations Research
• Value Engineering
• Process Engineering
• Engineering Management
• Mathematical and Statistical Analyses
• Financial Engineering
• Strategic Planning
Need for industrial engineers
Consumers have over time learnt about quality of products. There is now demand for products of higher quality. This has forced manufacturers to find new ways to provide that. There are techniques that are used to make sure that products are made in high quality and costs are kept at a minimum. This concept is what has led to the great need for industrial engineers. These are meant to improve productivity at minimum costs.
Industrial engineering basically deals with the incorporation of human power and systems to facilitate production. There are several skills that are required for a career in industrial engineering. Knowledge of mathematics and science are the most commonly looked for skills. A lot of industrial engineering is about formulating operations that increase production while facilitating the use of systems effectively.
What an industrial engineer does is find the right combination of people, equipment, materials, information and systems that would work together to give the best products and services. This general function of the industrial engineers means one is not restricted to one field of practice. Industrial engineers can work in the manufacturing field, government agency or even financial firms. The opportunities are virtually limitless.
An industrial engineer is all about testing systems as a whole. There is a lot of research and analyses that is involved. When that is done, then there is the modeling. This basically entails coming up with the right strategies to improve service delivery and production. The optimization of work performance is what guides the industrial engineer in anything they do.
Some of the things that industrial engineers do include;
Providing safer work environments for workers.
Improve efficiency in production and service delivery.
Better organization to improve productivity.
Reduce waste during production and service delivery.
Help a company improve their bottom line and its delivery.
Providing products that are designed better and are easier to use.
Cost reduction by use of more efficient equipment.
Someone looking to start a career in industrial engineering will require the right training. There are a lot of skills that are needed in this field and some of those are taught. There are colleges and universities that offer programs in industrial engineering. The Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering is the most common. An individual may decide to get any level of training they want.
There are some focus areas that are covered in industrial engineering training;
Production- focuses improvement of system operations. Topics include; facilities design and layout, material handling, quality control, inventory control, production planning.
Management- teaches the organization of projects and people. Includes; evaluation of employees, cost control, project planning and assignment of jobs to workers.
Ergonomics- covers the interaction between people and machines at the work place and includes; workplace design, engineering psychology, work environment safety, physiological limitations and computer interaction.
Manufacturing Processes and Systems- deals with the basics in manufacturing like robotics, process planning, metrology, and metal cutting theory.
Operations Research- this basically covers the general analyses of systems and their designs. It includes things like linear programming, dynamic programming, optimization and queuing theory.