Industrial engineering



Industrial engineering can be described as the practical application of combination of engineering fields, together with the principles of scientific management. It is the engineering of work processes and the application of engineering methods, practices, and knowledge to production and service enterprises. Industrial engineering places a strong emphasis on an understanding of workers and their needs in order to increase and improve production and service activities. Industrial engineering activities and techniques include the following:

  • Designing jobs (determining the most economic way to perform work).
  • Setting performance standards and benchmarks for quality, quantity, and cost.
  • Designing and installing facilities.

An important aspect of industrial engineering is its concern with the human element in industrial processes. The classical industrial engineering of the late 19th and early 20th centuries emphasized time studies, work sampling, methods engineering, costing methods, and employee incentives to make human interaction with industrial processes cost effective and reliable. Modern industrial engineering, in addition to the classical methods, deals with mathematical process modelling, management science methods, automation, and robotics. The use of advanced mathematical methods has become possible with the advent of computers.

Mathematical process modelling allows the consideration of all available information on a process and the prediction of outcomes for given inputs and process parameters. The work of industrial engineers is varied and ranges from practical aspects of data gathering and analysis to the use of advanced mathematical methods of process simulation and optimization, as firms seek to reduce costs and increase productivity. Industrial engineers are in demand in all industries, ranging from manufacturing to service enterprises.