What Does An Industrial Engineering Technician Do?
When it comes to determining whether a company is optimizing its workflows and using its workforce, resources and time well, industrial engineers are usually assisted by industrial engineering technicians. The latter performs tests, physical inspections and observations following the orders of industrial engineers who typically act as their supervisors.
Industrial engineering technicians work in a variety of settings ranging from healthcare organizations to factories to stores. They conduct time and motion studies to determine the length of time and the steps undertaken by employees to finish a particular task. Knowing this data is important so that the company can come up with doable rates of production and set particular deadlines for tasks. They do these observations not only in the production line but in the areas of maintenance and service as well.
Industrial engineering technicians also see to it that company personnel are using and maintaining the equipment and resources following established quality assurance standards. This usually entails poring over manuals and related documents to determine what the standards are and comparing this with employee expectations. Site inspections will determine whether the machines are well-utilized and are in working condition. If not, they may recommend that these be temporarily be shut down so that they can be inspected more thoroughly. Depending on the results of the investigation, they can make the final determination that the equipment needs to be retired or that it is working just fine but the personnel who handle them simply need more training to maximize it.
Industrial engineering technicians may also notice that production can be made more efficient if there is better handling of materials. Materials handling refers to the process of moving, protecting, storing and controlling materials and products from manufacturing to distribution to disposal. They observe if the company’s material handling system improves customer service, cuts delivery times and lowers overall costs. If they find it lacking, industrial engineering technicians make suggestions on how to make the process and system more responsive and cost-effective.
Industrial engineering technicians meet with the company’s management team and other engineering personnel to find out what their quality standards are. Drawing on their observations, inspections and the data they have gathered, industrial engineering technicians may make changes to current production standards to come up with quality products despite equipment capacity limitations. They also maximize worker productivity by planning work assignments which take into consideration their efficiency based on the results of their observations, the capacity of the equipment they use and the deadlines set for production.
Depending on the instructions of the supervisor, an industrial engineering technician may only have to relay his observations with the industrial engineer in charge of the operations. He may simply suggest ways by which productivity can be improved, with the industrial engineer echoing these to company management. In many instances, industrial engineering technicians may be required to prepare an official report for the management team to evaluate in their planning process. In this written report, they may include graphs, charts and diagrams to show and clarify the equipment layout, workflow process and materials handling system. They may also include details on how the pieces of equipment are used, what the deficiencies and problems are and how these may be improved in their report.
Industrial engineering technicians are important in the work of industrial engineers whose main task is to make businesses more efficient in their operations and thus reduce costs by eliminating waste and redundancies throughout the production process. Through the work they do, they make businesses retain or even improve the quality of their products and service. All these will help the company improve its bottom line and prevent breaks in the supply chain that lead to customer dissatisfaction.
Other areas where industrial engineering technicians help improve company processes are in the realms of environmental production and worker safety. They assist industrial engineers in pointing out areas where resources and effort are wasted and work towards improving it. They recommend methods for the company to come up with sustainable and earth-friendly practices from the start of manufacturing to the ultimate disposal of materials and products.
When it comes to worker safety, industrial engineering technicians work with other members of the engineering team to promote the proper handling of equipment so that the risk of injuries and accidents may be minimized.