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What is the concept of Industrial Engineering

What is the concept of Industrial Engineering

In order to maximize his earnings and enhance his living standards, man has always attempted to improve his processes, methods and tools in order to improve the productivity of his resources. That continued effort gave birth the joint of Industrial Engineering and Production Management.

About the concept of Industrial Engineering, some books and autors tell us that Industrial Engineering is concerned with the design, improvement and installation of integrated system of men, material and machines for the benefit of mankind. It draws upon specialized knowledge and skills in the mathematical and physical sciences together with the principles and methods of engineering analysis and design to specify predict and evaluate the results to be obtained from such systems.

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About industrial engineer job

About industrial engineer job

What can we say about an industrial engineering job?

An industrial engineer’s job is to find the best combination of people, tools, materials, parts, information and power to provide products or services efficiently. In contrast to other engineering specialties such as civil engineering or mechanical engineering, industrial engineering track isn’t restricted to one industry or type of work. It may be industrial in the sense of working in a traditional manufacturing, mining or transportation environment. Or it can lead to work for a financial services firm, a government agency or a magazine publisher.

Industrial engineers research, analyze, model and test whole systems. They’re efficiency experts; safety engineers; ergonomics engineers; environmental health engineers; and in many cases, managers, principals or business owners. Al most any organization that you can name has a need for someone who understands what all the factors affecting its mission are, how they’re related, and what can be done to make it all work better. That’s what industrial engineering does – it makes a system, a process or an organization work better.

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Methods engineering and Process analysis

Methods engineering and Process analysis

Methods engineering definition

Methods engineering is concerned with the selection, development, and documentation of the methods by which work is to be done. It includes the analysis of input and output conditions, assisting in the choice of the processes to be used, operations and work flow analyses, workplace design, assisting in tool and equipment selection and specifications, ergonomic and human factors considerations, workplace layout, motion analysis and standardization, and the establishment of work time standards.

A primary concern of methods engineering is the integration of humans and equipment in the work processes and facilities.

What’s Process analysis?

Process analysis is that step in the conversion of raw materials to a finished product at which decisions are made regarding what methods, machines, tools, inspections and routings are best. In many cases, the product’s specifications can be altered slightly, without diminishing its function or quality level, so as to allow processing by a preferred method. For this reason, it is desirable to have the product’s designer and the process engineer work together before specifications are finalized.

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Methods engineering and workplace design

Methods engineering and workplace design

Workplace design

Material usually flows through a facility, stopping briefly at stations where additional work is done on it to bring it closer to a finished product. These workstations, or workplaces, must be designed to permit performance of the required operations, to contain all the tooling and equipment needed to fit the capabilities and limitations of the people working at them, to be safe and to interface smoothly with neighboring workplaces.

Human engineering and ergonomic factors must be considered so that all work, tools, and machine activation devices are not only within the comfortable reach of the operator but are designed for safe and efficient operation. A workplace chart which analyzes the required actions of both hands is an aid in workplace design.

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Methods design, motion and time study

Methods design, motion and time study

What’s methods design

Methods design is the analysis of the various ways a task can be done so as to establish the one best way. It includes motion analysis (the study of the actions the operator can use and the advantages and/or disadvantages of each variation) and standardization of procedure (the selection and recording of the selected and authorized work methods).

While ‘‘time and motion study’’ is the more commonly used term, it is more correct to use ‘‘motion and time study,’’ as the motion study to establish the standard procedure must be done prior to the establishment of a standard time to perform that work.

Motion study definition

Motion study can be defined as “the analysis of the manual and the eye movements occurring in an operation or work cycle for the purpose of eliminating wasted movements and establishing a better sequence and coordination of movements.”

Time study definition

Time study can be defined as “the procedure by which the actual elapsed time for performing an operation or subdivisions or elements thereof is determined by the use of a suitable timing device and recorded. The procedure usually but not always includes the adjustment of the actual time as the result of performance rating to derive the time which should be required to perform the task by a workman working at a standard pace and following a standard method under standard conditions.”

Attempts have been made to separate the two functions and to assign each to a specialist. Although motion study deals with method and time study deals with time, the two are nearly inseparable in practical application work. The method determines the time required, and the time determines which of two or more methods is the best. It has, therefore, been found best to have both functions handled by the same individual.

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Evolution of industrial engineering (Part I)

Evolution of industrial engineering (Part I)

In any productive environment, whether it is an industrial plant, an institution such as a hospital, restaurant, office, etc. there is a need to improve the quality of work. This means that a given task should be carried out efficiently and accurately in terms of time and effort spent.

During the industrial revolution of the 18th and 19th century, many small ownership based businesses grew into larger enterprises in which a number of manual tasks were performed by mechanical and steam operated machines. At that time there weren’t adequate tools or working conditions and there was considerable exploitation of labor. As a result, there were wide variations in output from different workers and different factories making the same product.

Frederick Taylor, a mechanical engineer was who observed that better methods could be established even for a simple task as handling iron ore and coal for a blast in a steel plant. He pursued the task of establishing a norm for the weight and size of the shovel for scooping and transferring material. He observed and proved that instead of using the largest shovel to move the maximum material in a day, it was better to design a shovel which could be comfortably used by the workers on a repetitive basis without tiring or injuring them at the end of the day. When his plan was implemented, he reduced the manpower by over 25%. Taylor was also considered to be the father of scientific management because he was a pioneer in improving methods and establishing the incentive system for workers with the benefit of higher productivity to the owners and higher wages for the workers.

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Evolution of industrial engineering (Part II)

Evolution of industrial engineering (Part II)

Frank Gilbreth, started working on motion studies soon after Taylor began his work. Gilbreth was a construction contractor, who noticed that the industry lacked standardization of methods. Gilbreth and his wife Lilian, devoted their lives to motion studies.

Gilbreth’s famous discovery took place when he was doing apprenticeship as a bricklayer; he observed that there were no two men, who could lay bricks the same way. Consequently, their quality and quantity of output varied. He improved the method of laying bricks by making a number of changes. He provided a platform whose height could be adjusted, so that bricklayer is always at the same height in relationship to the bricks laid. A shelf for bricks and mortar was built to save workers from bending down to pick up their material. He had bricks pre-stacked with the best side facing in the direction of the workers to avoid workers from having to turn the brick several times to find its best side just before laying.

These changes significantly reduced the number of motions in laying bricks, and resulted in higher production with lower fatigue for the workers. Lilian Gilbreth, Frank’s wife, joined him in his pursuit for promoting scientific management by conducting research and application work in studies of motion and methods.