What Does An Industrial Engineer Do?
The work of industrial engineers centers on helping companies and organizations make their production processes more efficient. They see to it that the money, time, workforce and materials are well-utilized and waste is eliminated. They streamline processes in various industries, working in manufacturing, healthcare and business administration, among others. Their expertise does not only allow them to serve businesses large and small but government agencies and nonprofit organizations as well.
In order to help companies bring down costs and maximize their resources, industrial engineers review and evaluate the workflows and production schedules of goods or services. They also scrutinize the engineering specifications of the products that are manufactured. They may also observe personnel as they go about their duties in order to suggest ways by which their actions can be made more efficient. They also make the necessary consultations with various groups such as the company’s clients, management personnel, staff and vendors in order to talk about the specifications of the products, manufacturing capabilities and status of various projects.
Industrial engineers also improve productivity and quality by making the most of available technology. For example, they survey the equipment used on the production floor so as to determine ways by which the company may still be able to make use of them. They could also recommend upgrades to various systems being used for product manufacturing in order to make these more cost-effective. With the growing use of computers and advanced technological equipment in various aspects of the production process in many industries, industrial engineers also study and make recommendations on the adoption of new hardware, sophisticated software programs and other web-based tools to company management.
Together with other industry professionals, industrial engineers design systems to move heavy parts efficiently in manufacturing facilities and determine the best places where manufacturing plants can be built so that the company’s products may be delivered to customers as quickly as possible with the least cost. They also utilize mathematical models in order to come up with systems of evaluating personnel and giving pay to workers.
Industrial engineers always have the end result in mind each time they come up with control systems to improve the company’s manufacturing processes. Their actions are also geared towards helping the company put in place cost-effective measures that would resolve problems in the production line and thus ensure product quality.
Industrial engineers also collaborate with the management team and clients to determine how best the company may address environmental concerns in its production processes. They see to it that the process utilized is so efficient that less waste is produced as a result. They do this by taking out non-value added activities like idle times, extraneous steps and wastes employed during the internal product manufacturing phase so that fewer resources are used to manage the waste generated by the process. They ensure that the company’s systems are maximized to the fullest so that the external wastes it produces don’t negatively impact the environment as much.
The work that industrial engineers do in the area of environmental protection is differentiated from that of the work done by environmental engineers who focus on the management of external waste produced from the manufacturing processes and reducing the impact of human activity on the environment. Industrial engineers are more concerned with developing sustainable processes by planning facilities well so that pollution can be kept at a minimum, producing finished products that have no defects as much as possible and coming up with a design process that produces environment-friendly products from the acquisition of raw materials to its disposal.
An integral part of the job of industrial engineers also lies in ensuring worker safety. They analyze equipment and workflow processes to determine the kind of risks that it potentially poses to personnel and work towards minimizing these as much as possible. They may coordinate together with safety engineers in developing methods to promote a safe working environment for employees, especially those in the production line.
Industrial engineers have a wide variety of skills that make them very valuable members to any organization. The work they do does not only enable businesses to save costs, maximize production efficiencies and keep workers safe but also assure consumers of quality products that don’t harm the environment at the same time.