Industrial Engineering

Class notes, readings and more

The Hawthorne Experiment and the developing of Industrial Engineering

The Hawthorne Experiment and the developing of Industrial Engineering

A major episode in the quest to understand behavioral aspects was the series of studies conducted at the Western Electric Hawthorne plant in Chicago between 1924 and 1932. These studies originally began with a simple question: How does workplace illumination affect worker productivity? Under sponsorship from the National Academy of Science, a team of researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) observed groups of coil-winding operators under different lighting levels. They observed that productivity relative to a control group went up as illumination increased, as had been expected. Then, in another experiment, they observed that productivity also increased when illumination decreased, even to the level of moonlight. Unable to explain the results, the original team abandoned the illumination studies and began other tests on the effect of rest periods, length of work week, incentive plans, free lunches, and supervisory styles on productivity. In most cases the trend was for higher than normal output by the groups under study.

Approaching the problem from the perspective of the “psychology of the total situation,” experts brought in to study the problem came to the conclusion that the results were primarily due to “a remarkable change in the mental attitude in the group.” Interpretations of the study were eventually reduced to the simple explanation that productivity increased as a result of the attention received by the workers under study. This was dubbed the Hawthorne effect. However, in subsequent writings this simple explanation was modified to include the argument that work is a group activity and that workers strive for a sense of belonging—not simple financial gain—in their jobs. By emphasizing the need for listening and counseling by managers to improve worker collaboration, the industrial psychology movement shifted the emphasis of management from technical efficiency—the focus of Taylorism—to a richer, more complex, human-relations orientation.

You can see more in “Industrial Engineering Handbook”

Methods Engineering and Work Simplification in Industrial Engineering

Methods Engineering and Work Simplification in Industrial Engineering

These reactions led to an increased interest in the work of the Gilbreths. Their efforts in methods analysis, which had previously been considered rather theoretical and impractical, became the foundation for the resurgence of industrial engineering in the 1920s and 1930s. In 1927, H. B. Maynard, G. J. Stegmerten, and S. M. Lowry wrote Time and Motion Study, emphasizing the importance of motion study and good methods. This eventually led to the term methods engineering as the descriptor of a technique emphasizing the “elimination of every unnecessary operation” prior to the determination of a time standard. In 1932, A. H. Mogenson published Common Sense Applied to Time and Motion Study, in which he stressed the concepts of motion study through an approach he chose to call work simplification. His thesis was simply that the people who know any job best are the workers doing that job. Therefore, if the workers are trained in the steps necessary to analyze and challenge the work they are doing, then they are also the ones most likely to implement improvements. His approach was to train key people in manufacturing plants at his Lake Placid Work Simplification Conferences so that they could in turn conduct similar training in their own plants for managers and workers. This concept of taking motion study training directly to the workers through the work simplification programs was a tremendous boon to the war production effort during World War II.

The first Ph.D. granted in the United States in the field of industrial engineering was also the result of research done in the area of motion study. It was awarded to Ralph M. Barnes by Cornell University in 1933 and was supervised by Dexter Kimball. Barnes’s thesis was rewritten and published as Motion and Time Study: the first full-length book devoted to this subject. The book also attempted to bridge the growing chasm between advocates of time study versus motion study by emphasizing the inseparability of these concepts as a basic principle of industrial engineering.

Another result of the reaction was a closer look at the behavioral aspects associated with the workplace and the human element. Even though the approach taken by Taylor and his followers failed to appreciate the psychological issues associated with worker motivation, their work served to catalyze the behavioral approach to management by systematically raising questions on authority, motivation, and training. The earliest writers in the field of industrial psychology acknowledged their debt to scientific management and framed their discussions in terms consistent with this system.

Industrial Engineering and the post–world war I era

Industrial Engineering and the post–world war I era

By the end of World War I, scientific management had firmly taken hold. Large-scale, vertically integrated organizations making use of mass production techniques were the norm. Application of these principles resulted in spectacular increases in production. Unfortunately, however, because increases in production were easy to achieve, management interest was focused primarily on the implementation of standards and incentive plans, and little attention was paid to the importance of good methods in production. The reaction of workers and the public to unscrupulous management practices such as “rate cutting” and other speedup tactics, combined with concerns about dehumanizing aspects of the application of scientific management, eventually led to legislation limiting the use of time standards in government operations.

About Quality control

About Quality control

Quality control is a process employed to ensure a certain level of quality in a product or service. It may include whatever actions a business deems necessary to provide for the control and verification of certain characteristics of a product or service. The basic goal of quality control is to ensure that the products, services, or processes provided meet specific requirements and are dependable, satisfactory, and fiscally sound.

Essentially, quality control involves the examination of a product, service, or process for certain minimum levels of quality. The goal of a quality control team is to identify products or services that do not meet a company’s specified standards of quality. If a problem is identified, the job of a quality control team or professional may involve stopping production temporarily. Depending on the particular service or product, as well as the type of problem identified, production or implementation may not cease entirely.

Usually, it is not the job of a quality control team or professional to correct quality issues. Typically, other individuals are involved in the process of discovering the cause of quality issues and fixing them. Once such problems are overcome, the product, service, or process continues production or implementation as usual.

Quality control can cover not just products, services, and processes, but also people. Employees are an important part of any company. If a company has employees that don’t have adequate skills or training, have trouble understanding directions, or are misinformed, quality may be severely diminished. When quality control is considered in terms of human beings, it concerns correctable issues. However, it should not be confused with human resource issues.

Often, quality control is confused with quality assurance. Though the two are very similar, there are some basic differences. Quality control is concerned with the product, while quality assurance is process–oriented.

Even with such a clear-cut difference defined, identifying the differences between the two can be hard. Basically, quality control involves evaluating a product, activity, process, or service. By contrast, quality assurance is designed to make sure processes are sufficient to meet objectives. Simply put, quality assurance ensures a product or service is manufactured, implemented, created, or produced in the right way; while quality control evaluates whether or not the end result is satisfactory.

OTHER PIONEERS OF INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING (Part two)

OTHER PIONEERS OF INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING (Part two)

Gantt’s ideas covered a wider range than some of his predecessors. He was interested not only in standards and costs but also in the proper selection and training of workers and in the development of incentive plans to reward them. Although Gantt was considered by Taylor to be a true disciple, his disagreements with Taylor on several points led to the development of a “task work with bonus” system instead of Taylor’s “differential piece rate” system and explicit procedures for enabling workers to either protest or revise standards. He was also interested in scheduling problems and is best remembered for devising the Gantt chart: a systematic graphical procedure for planning and scheduling activities that is still widely used in project management.

In attendance were also the profession’s first educators including Hugo Diemer, who started the first continuing curriculum in industrial engineering at Pennsylvania State College in 1908; William Kent, who organized an industrial engineering curriculum at Syracuse University in the same year; Dexter Kimball, who presented an academic course in works administration at Cornell University in 1904; and C. Bertrand Thompson, an instructor in industrial organization at Harvard, where the teaching of Taylor’s concepts had been implemented. Consultants and industrial managers at the meeting included Carl Barth, Taylor’s mathematician and developer of special purpose slide rules for metal cutting; John Aldrich of the New England Butt Company, who presented the first public statement and films about micro- motion study; James Dodge, president of the Link-Belt Company; and Henry Kendall, who spoke of experiments in organizing personnel functions as part of scientific management in industry. Two editors present were Charles Going of the Engineering Magazine and Robert Kent, editor of the first magazine with the title of Industrial Engineering. Lillian Gilbreth was perhaps the only pioneer absent since at that time women were not admitted to ASME meetings.

Another early pioneer was Harrington Emerson. Emerson became a champion of efficiency independent of Taylor and summarized his approach in his book, the Twelve Principles of Efficiency. These principles, which somewhat paralleled Taylor’s teachings, were derived primarily through his work in the railroad industry. Emerson, who had reorganized the work shops of the Santa Fe Railroad, testified during the hearings of the Interstate Commerce Commission concerning a proposed railroad rate hike in 1910 to 1911 that scientific management could save “a million dollars a day.” Because he was the only “efficiency engineer” with firsthand experience in the railroad industry, his statement carried enormous weight and served to emblazon scientific management on the national consciousness. Later in his career he became particularly interested in selection and training of employees and is also credited with originating the term dispatching in reference to shop floor control, a phrase that undoubtedly derives from his railroad experience.

OTHER PIONEERS OF INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING (Part one)

OTHER PIONEERS OF INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING (Part one)

In 1912, the originators and early pioneers, the first educators and consultants, and the managers and representatives of the first industries to adopt the concepts developed by Taylor and Gilbreth gathered at the annual meeting of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) in New York City. The all-day session on Friday, December 6, 1912, began with a presentation titled “The Present State of the Art of Industrial Management.” This report and the subsequent discussions provide insight and understanding about the origin and relative contributions of the individuals involved in the birth of a unique new profession: industrial engineering.

In addition to Taylor and Gilbreth, other pioneers present at this meeting included Henry Towne and Henry Gantt. Towne, who was associated with the Yale and Towne Manufacturing Company, used ASME as the professional society to which he presented his views on the need for a professional group with interest in the problems of manufacturing and management. This suggestion ultimately led to the creation of the Management Division of ASME, one of the groups active today in promoting and disseminating information about the art and science of management, including many of the topics and ideas industrial engineers are engaged in. Towne was also concerned with the economic aspects and responsibilities of the engineer’s job including the development of wage payment plans and the remuneration of workers. His work and that of Frederick Halsey, father of the Halsey premium plan of wage payment, advanced the notion that some of the gains realized from productivity increases should be shared with the workers creating them.

PIONEERS OF INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING - FRANK AND LILLIAN GILBRETH

PIONEERS OF INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING - FRANK AND LILLIAN GILBRETH

The other cornerstone of the early days of industrial engineering was provided by the husband and wife team of Frank and Lillian Gilbreth. Consumed by a similar passion for efficiency, Frank Gilbreth’s application of the scientific method to the laying of bricks produced results that were as revolutionary as those of Taylor’s shoveling experiment. He and Lillian extended the concepts of scientific management to the identification, analysis, and measurement of fundamental motions involved in performing work. By applying the motion-picture camera to the task of analyzing motions they were able to categorize the elements of human motions into 18 basic elements or therbligs. This development marked a distinct step forward in the analysis of human work, for the first time permitting analysts to design jobs with knowledge of the time required to perform the job. In many respects these developments also marked the beginning of the much broader field of human factors or ergonomics.

While their work together stimulated much research and activity in the field of motion study, it was Lillian who also provided significant insight and contributions to the human issues associated with their studies. Lillian’s book, The Psychology of Management (based on her doctoral thesis in psychology at Brown University), advanced the premise that because of its emphasis on scientific selection and training, scientific management offered ample opportunity for individual development, while traditional management stifled such development by concentrating power in a central figure. Known as the “first lady of engineering,” she was the first woman to be elected to the National Academy of Engineering and is generally credited with bringing to the industrial engineering profession a concern for human welfare and human relations that was not present in the work of many pioneers of the scientific management movement.

PIONEERS OF INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING - TAYLOR AND SCIENTIFIC MANAGEMENT (Part two)

PIONEERS OF INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING - TAYLOR AND SCIENTIFIC MANAGEMENT (Part two)

Taylor’s interest in what today we classify as the area of work measurement was also motivated by the information that studies of this nature could supply for planning activities. In this sense, his work laid the foundation for a broader “science of planning”: a science totally empirical in nature but one that he was able to demonstrate could significantly improve productivity. To Taylor, scientific management was a philosophy based not only on the scientific study of work but also on the scientific selection, education, and development of workers.

His classic experiments in shoveling coal, which he initiated at the Bethlehem Steel Corporation in 1898, not only resulted in development of standards and methods for carrying out this task, but also led to the creation of tool and storage rooms as service departments, the development of inventory and ordering systems, the creation of personnel departments for worker selection, the creation of training departments to instruct workers in the standard methods, recognition of the importance of the layout of manufacturing facilities to ensure minimum movement of people and materials, the creation of departments for organizing and planning production, and the development of incentive payment systems to reward those workers able to exceed standard outputs. Any doubt about Taylor’s impact on the birth and development of industrial engineering should be erased by simply correlating the previously described functions with many of the fields of work and topics that continue to play a major role in the practice of the profession and its educational content at the university level.

PIONEERS OF INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING - TAYLOR AND SCIENTIFIC MANAGEMENT (Part one)

PIONEERS OF INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING - TAYLOR AND SCIENTIFIC MANAGEMENT (Part one)

While Frederick W. Taylor did not use the term industrial engineering in his work, his writings and talks are generally credited as being the beginning of the discipline. One cannot presume to be well versed in the origins of industrial engineering without reading Taylor’s books: Shop Management and The Principles of Scientific Management. An engineer to the core, he earned a degree in mechanical engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology and developed several inventions for which he received patents. While his engineering accomplishments would have been sufficient to guarantee him a place in history, it was his contributions to management that resulted in a set of principles and concepts considered by Drucker to be “possibly the most powerful as well as lasting contribution America has made to Western thought since the Federalist Papers.”

The core of Taylor’s system consisted of breaking down the production process into its component parts and improving the efficiency of each. Paying little attention to rules of thumb and standard practices, he honed manual tasks to maximum efficiency by examining each component separately and eliminating all false, slow, and useless movements. Mechanical work was accelerated through the use of jigs, fixtures, and other devices many invented by Taylor himself. In essence, Taylor was trying to do for work units what Whitney had done for material units: standardize them and make them interchangeable.

Improvement of work efficiency under the Taylor system was based on the analysis and improvement of work methods, reduction of the time required to carry out the work, and the development of work standards. With an abiding faith in the scientific method, Taylor’s contribution to the development of “time study” was his way of seeking the same level of predictability and precision for manual tasks that he had achieved with his formulas for metal cutting.

HISTORY OF INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING - INTERCHANGEABILITY OF PARTS

HISTORY OF INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING - INTERCHANGEABILITY OF PARTS

Another key development in the history of industrial engineering was the concept of inter- changeable parts. The feasibility of the concept as a sound industrial practice was proven through the efforts of Eli Whitney and Simeon North in the manufacture of muskets and pistols for the U.S. government. Prior to the innovation of interchangeable parts, the making of a product was carried out in its entirety by an artisan, who fabricated and fitted each required piece. Under Whitney’s system, the individual parts were mass-produced to tolerances tight enough to enable their use in any finished product. The division of labor called for by Adam Smith could now be carried out to an extent never before achievable, with individual workers producing single parts rather than completed products. The result was a significant reduction in the need for specialized skills on the part of the workers a result that eventually led to the industrial environment, which became the object of study of Frederick W. Taylor.

HISTORY OF INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING - SPECIALIZATION OF LABOR

HISTORY OF INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING - SPECIALIZATION OF LABOR

The concepts presented by Adam Smith in his treatise The Wealth of Nations also lie at the foundation of what eventually became the theory and practice of industrial engineering. His writings on concepts such as the division of labor and the “invisible hand” of capitalism served to motivate many of the technological innovators of the Industrial Revolution to establish and implement factory systems. Examples of these developments include Arkwright’s implementation of management control systems to regulate production and the output of factory workers, and the well-organized factory that Watt, together with an associate, Matthew Boulton, built to produce steam engines. The efforts of Watt and Boulton and their sons led to the planning and establishment of the first integrated machine manufacturing facility in the world, including the implementation of concepts such as a cost control system designed to decrease waste and improve productivity and the institution of skills training for craftsmen. Many features of life in the twentieth century including widespread employment in large- scale factories, mass production of inexpensive goods, the rise of big business, and the existence of a professional manager class are a direct consequence of the contributions of Smith and Watt.

Another early contributor to concepts that eventually became associated with industrial engineering was Charles Babbage. The findings that he made as a result of visits to factories in England and the United States in the early 1800s were documented in his book entitled On the Economy of Machinery and Manufacturers. The book includes subjects such as the time required for learning a particular task, the effects of subdividing tasks into smaller and less detailed elements, the time and cost savings associated with changing from one task to another, and the advantages to be gained by repetitive tasks. In his classic example on the manufacture of straight pins, Babbage extends the work of Adam Smith on the division of labor by showing that money could be saved by assigning lesser-paid workers (in those days women and children) to lesser-skilled operations and restricting the higher-skilled, higher- paid workers to only those operations requiring higher skill levels. Babbage also discusses notions related to wage payments, issues related to present-day profit sharing plans, and even ideas associated with the organization of labor and labor relations. It is important to note, however, that even though much of Babbage’s work represented a departure from conventional wisdom in the early nineteenth century, he restricted his work to that of observing and did not try to improve the methods of making the product, to reduce the times required, or to set standards of what the times should be.

HISTORY OF INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING - THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION

HISTORY OF INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING - THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION

Even though historians of science and technology continue to argue about when industrial engineering began, there is a general consensus that the empirical roots of the profession date back to the Industrial Revolution, which began in England during the mideighteenth century. The events of this era dramatically changed manufacturing practices and served as the gene- sis for many concepts that influenced the scientific birth of the field a century later. The driving forces behind these developments were the technological innovations that helped mechanize many traditional manual operations in the textile industry. These include the flying shuttle developed by John Kay in 1733, the spinning jenny invented by James Hargreaves in 1765, and the water frame developed by Richard Arkwright in 1769. Perhaps the most important innovation, however, was the steam engine developed by James Watt in 1765. By making steam practical as a power source for a host of applications, Watt’s invention freed manufacturers from their reliance on waterpower, opening up far greater freedom of location and industrial organization. It also provided cheaper power, which led to lower production costs, lower prices, and greatly expanded markets. By facilitating the substitution of capital for labor, these innovations generated economies of scale that made mass production in centralized locations attractive for the first time. The concept of a production system, which lies at the core of modern industrial engineering practice and research, had its genesis in the factories created as a result of these innovations.

EARLY ORIGINS OF INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING

EARLY ORIGINS OF INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING

Before entering into the history of the profession, it is important to note that the birth and evolution of industrial engineering are analogous to those of its engineering predecessors. Even though there are centuries old examples of early engineering practice and accomplishments, such as the Pyramids, the Great Wall of China, and the Roman construction projects, it was not until the eighteenth century that the first engineering schools appeared in France. The need for greater efficiency in the design and analysis of bridges, roads, and buildings resulted in principles of early engineering concerned primarily with these topics being taught first in military academies (military engineering). The application of these principles to non-military or civilian endeavors led to the term civil engineering. Interrelated advancements in the fields of physics and mathematics laid the groundwork for the development and application of mechanical principles. The need for improvements in the design and analysis of materials and devices such as pumps and engines resulted in the emergence of mechanical engineering as a distinct field in the early nineteenth century. Similar circumstances, albeit for different technologies, can be ascribed to the emergence and development of electrical engineering and chemical engineering. As has been the case with all these fields, industrial engineering developed initially from empirical evidence and understanding and then from research to develop a more scientific base.

HUMAN FACTORS IN INDUSTRIAL AND SYSTEMS ENGINEERING

HUMAN FACTORS IN INDUSTRIAL AND SYSTEMS ENGINEERING

Human factors is a science that investigates human behavioural, cognitive, and physical abilities and limitations in order to understand how individual and teams will interact with products and systems.

Human factors engineering is the discipline that takes this knowledge and uses it to specify, design, and test systems to optimize safety, productivity, effectiveness, and satisfaction.

Human factors is important to industrial and systems engineering because of the prevalence of humans within industrial systems. It is humans who, for the most part, are called on to design, manufacture, operate, monitor, maintain, and repair industrial systems. In each of these cases, human factors should be uses to ensure that the design will meet system requirements in performance, productivity, quality, reliability, and safety.

The importance of including human factors in systems design cannot be overemphasized. There are countless examples that illustrate its importance for systems performance. Mackenzie found in 1994 that in a survey of 1100 computer-related fatalities between 1979 and 1992. 92% could be attributed to failures in the interaction between a human and computer. The extend of the 1979 accident at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant was largely due to human factors challenges, almost resulting in a disastrous nuclear catastrophe. The infamous butterfly ballot problem in Florida in the 2000 U.S. presidential election is a clear example of an inadequate system interface yielding remarkably poor performance. Web sites such as baddesigns.com and thisisbrokenn.com provide extensive listings of designs from everyday life that suffer from poor consideration of human factors. Neophytes often refer to human factors as common sense. However, the prevalence of poor design suggests that human factors sense is not as common as one might think. The consequences of poor human factors design can be inadequate system performance, reduced product sales, significant product damage, and human injury.

WHAT IS OPERATIONAL OR OPERATIONS RESEARCH?

WHAT IS OPERATIONAL OR OPERATIONS RESEARCH?

Operational Research (OR) is the use of advanced analytical techniques to improve decision making. It is sometimes known as Operations Research, Management Science or Industrial Engineering. People with skills in OR hold jobs in decision support, business analytics, marketing analysis and logistics planning – as well as jobs with OR in the title.

WHY IS OR NEEDED?

Because it makes sense to make the best use of available resources. Today’s global markets and instant communications mean that customers expect high-quality products and services when they need them, where they need them. Organizations, whether public or private, need to provide these products and services as effectively and efficiently as possible. This requires careful planning and analysis – the hallmarks of good OR. This is usually based on process modelling, analysis of options or business analytics.

EXAMPLES OF OR IN ACTION

  • Scheduling: of aircrews and the fleet for airlines, of vehicles in supply chains, of orders in a factory and of operating theatres in a hospital.
  • Facility planning: computer simulations of airports for the rapid and safe processing of travellers, improving appointments systems for medical practice.
  • Planning and forecasting: identifying possible future developments in telecommunications, deciding how much capacity is needed in a holiday business.
  • Yield management: setting the prices of airline seats and hotel rooms to reflect changing demand and the risk of no shows.
  • Credit scoring: deciding which customers offer the best prospects for credit companies.
  • Marketing: evaluating the value of sale promotions, developing customer profiles and computing the life-time value of a customer.
  • Defence and peace keeping: finding ways to deploy troops rapidly.
  • Some OR methods and techniques
  • Computer simulation: allowing you to try out approaches and test ideas for improvement.
  • Optimization: narrowing your choices to the very best when there are so many feasible options that comparing them one by one is difficult.
  • Probability and statistics: helping you measure risk, mine data to find valuable connections and insights in business analytics, test conclusions, and make reliable forecasts.
  • Problem structuring: helpful when complex decisions are needed in situations with many stakeholders and competing interests.

INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING- TIES TO THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION (Part two)

INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING- TIES TO THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION (Part two)

It is widely recognized that the occupational discipline that has contributed the most to the development of modern society is engineering, through its various segments of focus. Engineers design and build the infrastructure that sustains the society. This includes roads, residential and commercial buildings, bridges, canals, tunnels, communication systems, healthcare facilities, schools, habitats, transportation systems, and factories. The Industrial Engineering process of systems integration facilitates the success of these infrastructures. In this sense, the scope of Industrial and Systems Engineering spans all the levels of activity, task, job, project, program, process, system, enterprise, and society.

It is essential to recognize the alliance between industry and Industrial Engineering as the core basis for the profession. The profession has branched off on too many different tangents over the years. Hence, it has witnessed the emergence of Industrial Engineering professionals who claim sole allegiance to some narrow line of practice, focus, or specialization rather than the core profession itself. Industry is the original basis of Industrial Engineering and it should be preserved as the core focus. This should be supported by the different areas of specialization. While it is essential that we extend the scope of Industrial Engineering to other domains, it should be realized that over-divergence of practice will not sustain the profession. A fragmented profession cannot survive for long. The incorporation of systems can help to bind everything together.

INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING - TIES TO THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION (Part one)

INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING - TIES TO THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION (Part one)

Industrial engineering has a proud heritage with a link that can be traced back to the Industrial Revolution. Although the practice of Industrial Engineering has been in existence for centuries, the work of Frederick Taylor in the early 20th century was the first emergence of the profession. It has been referred to with different names and connotations. Scientific management was one of the original names used to describe what industrial engineers do.

Industry, the root of the profession’s name, clearly explains what the profession is about. The dictionary defines industry generally as the ability to produce and deliver goods and services. The industry in Industrial Engineering can be viewed as the application of skills and cleverness to achieve work objectives. This relates to how human effort is harnessed innovatively to carry out work. Thus, any activity can be defined as industry if it generates a product, be it service or physical product. A systems view of Industrial Engineering encompasses all the details and aspects necessary for applying skills and accuracy to produce work efficiently. Hence the academic curriculum of Industrial Engineering must change, evolve, and adapt to the changing systems environment of the profession.

INDUSTRIAL AND SYSTEMS ENGINEERING - WHAT IS SYSTEMS ENGINEERING?

INDUSTRIAL AND SYSTEMS ENGINEERING - WHAT IS SYSTEMS ENGINEERING?

Systems engineering involves a recognition, appreciation, and integration of all aspects of an organization or a facility. A system is defined as a collection of interrelated elements working together in synergy to produce a composite output that is greater than the sum of the individual outputs of the components. A system view of a process facilitates a comprehensive inclusion of all the factors involved in the process. Systems engineering is the application of a multi-faceted problem through a systematic collection and integration of parts of the problem with respect to the lifecycle of the problem. It is the branch of engineering concerned with the development, implementation, and use of large or complex systems.

It focuses on specific goals of a system considering the specifications, prevailing constraints, expected services, possible behaviours, and structure of the system. It also involves a consideration of the activities required to assure that the system’s performance matches the stated goals. Systems engineering addresses the integration of tools, people, and processes required to achieve a cost-effective and timely operation of the system.


WHAT IS INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING?

WHAT IS 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.

ORIGINS OF INDUSTRIAL AND SYSTEMS ENGINEERING (Part two)

ORIGINS OF INDUSTRIAL AND SYSTEMS ENGINEERING (Part two)

Some of the major functions of industrial engineers involve the following:

  • Designing integrated systems of people, technology, process, and methods.
  • Developing performance modelling, measurement, and evaluation for systems.
  • Developing and maintaining quality standards for industry and business.
  • Applying production principles to pursue improvements in service organizations.
  • Incorporating technology effectively into work processes.
  • Developing cost mitigation, avoidance, or containment strategies.
  • Improving overall productivity of integrated systems of people, materials, and processes.
  • Recognizing and incorporate factors affecting performance of a composite system.
  • Planning, organizing, scheduling, and controlling production and service projects.
  • Organizing teams to improve efficiency and effectiveness of and organization.
  • Installing technology to facilitate work flow.
  • Enhancing information flow to facilitate smooth operations of systems.
  • Coordinating materials and equipment for effective systems performance.

ORIGINS OF INDUSTRIAL AND SYSTEMS ENGINEERING (Part one)

ORIGINS OF INDUSTRIAL AND SYSTEMS ENGINEERING (Part one)

Industrial engineering thrives on systems perspectives just as systems thrive on Industrial Engineering approaches. One cannot treat topics of Industrial Engineering without recognizing systems perspectives and vice versa. A generic definition of Industrial Engineering, adopted by the Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE) states:

“Industrial Engineer – One who is concerned with the design, installation, and improvement of integrated systems of people, materials, information, equipment, and energy by drawing upon specialized knowledge and skills in the mathematical, physical, and social 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”.

The above definition embodies the various aspects of what an industrial engineer does. Although some practitioners find the definition to be too convoluted, it nonetheless describes an industrial engineer. As can be seen, the profession is very versatile, flexible, and diverse. It can also be seen from the definition that a systems orientation permeates the work of industrial engineers.


WHAT IS METHODS ENGINEERING?

WHAT IS METHODS ENGINEERING?

A technique used by progressive management to improve productivity and reduce costs in both direct and indirect operations of manufacturing and non-manufacturing business organizations. Methods engineering is applicable in any enterprise wherever human effort is required. It can be defined as the systematic procedure for subjecting all direct and indirect operations to close scrutiny in order to introduce improvements that will make work easier to perform and will allow work to be done smoother in less time, and with less energy, effort, and fatigue, with less investment per unit. The ultimate objective of methods engineering is profit improvement. See also Operations research; Productivity.

Methods engineering includes five activities: planning, methods study, standardization, work measurement, and controls. Methods engineering, through planning, first identifies the amount of time that should be spent on a project so as to get as much of the potential savings as is practical. Invariably the most profitable jobs to study are those with the most repetition, the highest labor content (human work as distinguished from mechanical or process work), the highest labor cost, or the longest life-span. Next, through methods study, methods are improved by observing what is currently being done and then by developing better ways of doing it. The standardization phase includes the training of the operator to follow the standard method. Then the number of standard hours in which operators working with standard performances can do their job is determined by measurement. Finally, the established method is periodically audited, and various management controls are adjusted with the new time data. The system may include a plan for compensating labor that encourages attaining or surpassing a standard performance.

ABOUT INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING

ABOUT INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING

Industrial engineering (IE) is all about choices - it is the engineering discipline that offers the most wide- ranging array of opportunities in terms of employment, and it is distinguished by its flexibility. While other engineering disciplines tend to apply skills to very specific areas, Industrial Engineers may be found working everywhere: from traditional manufacturing companies to airlines, from distribution companies to financial institutions, from major medical establishments to consulting companies, from high-tech corporations to companies in the food industry.

Industrial Engineering is the only engineering discipline with close links to management - many Industrial Engineers (IE's) move on to successful careers in management. Also, if you think that one day you will start and run your own company, an Industrial Engineering program will provide you with the best training for this - regardless of what the company will actually do!
So what do Industrial Engineers do?
In very simple terms, while engineers typically make things, IE's figure out how to make or do things better. This is what gives IE's so much flexibility - as you can imagine, everyone would like to do things better! IE's are primarily concerned with two closely related issues: productivity and quality. They address these two issues by looking at integrated systems of machines, human beings, information, computers and other resources. A variety of skills and techniques are used to design and operate such systems in the most productive way possible, while continuously improving them and maintaining the highest levels of quality. IE's make significant contributions to their employers by making money for them while, at the same time, making the workplace better for fellow workers.

DEFINITIONS ABOUT INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING

DEFINITIONS ABOUT INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING

Here are some extremely wordy definitions which attempt to say the same thing

What is Industrial Engineering?
Industrial engineers focus on systems and how system components fit together. They often are the people who lead the way in understanding how to use the finite resources of the world to the maximum advantage. Industrial engineers must understand people as well as technology. Consequently, industrial engineering draws upon a variety of different disciplines, from mathematics to psychology, from communications to computer science, from production management to process control.
What is Industrial Engineering?
Industrial engineering is concerned with the design, improvement and installation of integrated systems of people, material, information, equipment and energy. It draws upon specialized knowledge and skills in the mathematical, physical and social 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.
What is Industrial Engineering?
Industrial engineering (IE) is about choices. Other engineering disciplines apply skills to very specific areas. Industrial engineering gives you the opportunity to work in lots of different kinds of businesses. The most distinctive aspect of industrial engineering is the flexibility that it offers. Whether it's shortening a rollercoaster line, streamlining an operating room, distributing products worldwide, or manufacturing superior automobiles... It's all in a day's work for an industrial engineer.
What is Industrial Engineering?
Industrial engineers determine the most effective ways for an organization to use the basic factors of production—people, machines, materials, information, and energy—to make or process a product or produce a service. They are the bridge between management goals and operational performance. They are more concerned with increasing productivity through the management of people, methods of business organization, and technology than are engineers in other specialties, who generally work more with products or processes.

INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERS MAKE SYSTEMS PRODUCTIVE

INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERS MAKE SYSTEMS PRODUCTIVE

What Really Is Industrial Engineering?
It is a difficult definition because other jobs are easy to describe:
  • Doctors make people well
  • Electrical engineers work with electricity
  • Teachers teach
  • Civil engineers build roads and bridges
  • Firemen put out fires

Here's the best suggestion Institute of Industrial Engineers has heard:

People always ask "What is Industrial Engineering?" And to that question there is no real reply, we are found everywhere, doing everything. Industrial Engineering is about "process engineering" rather than "product engineering" which gives up a difficult job description. The best answer is the simplest one... Industrial Engineers make systems productive.

INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING POSTGRADUATE CURRICULUM

INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING POSTGRADUATE CURRICULUM

The postgraduate programmes in industrial engineering have long been held as probably the most diversified programme across industries. The usual postgraduate degree earned is the Master of Science in Industrial Engineering/Industrial Engineering & Management/Industrial Engineering & Operations Research. The typical MS in IE/IE&M/IE & OR curriculum includes:
  • Operations Research/Optimization Techniques
  • Operations Management
  • Supply Chain Mgmt & Logistics
  • Simulation & Stochastic Models
  • Manufacturing Systems
  • Engineering Economics
  • Corporate Planning
  • Human Factors Engineering/Ergonomics
  • Productivity Improvement
  • Production Planning and Control
  • Computer Aided Manufacturing
  • Material Management
  • Facilities Design and/or Work Space Design
  • Statistical process control Statistical Process Control or Quality Control
  • Time and Motion Study

INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING UNDERGRADUATE CURRICULUM

INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING UNDERGRADUATE CURRICULUM
In the United States, the usual undergraduate degree earned is the Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering (BSIE). The typical BSIE curriculum includes introductory chemistry, physics, economics, mathematics, statistics, properties of materials, intermediate coursework in mechanical engineering, computer science, and sometimes electrical engineering, and specialized courses such as the following:
  • Systems Simulation
  • Operations Research and/or Optimization
  • Combinatorial Mathematics
  • Engineering Economy
  • Engineering Administration/Management
  • Human Factors or Ergonomics
  • Time and Motion study
  • Manufacturing Engineering
  • Production Planning and Control
  • Computer Aided Manufacturing
  • Packaging engineering
  • Facilities Design and/or Work Space Design
  • Logistics and/or Supply Chain Management
  • Statistical Process Control or Quality Control
  • Stochastic Systems
  • Discrete Event Simulation
  • Linear Programming
  • Non-Linear Programming
  • Queuing Theory
  • Probability
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Statistics

INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING HISTORY

INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING HISTORY

Industrial engineering courses had been taught by multiple universities in the late 1800s along Europe, especially in very developed countries such as Germany, France and United Kingdom, but also in Spain in the Technical University of Madrid. In the United States,the first department of industrial engineering was established in 1908 at the Pennsylvania State University by Alex Kaserman.

The first doctoral degree in industrial engineering was awarded in the 1930s by Cornell University.

A DEFINITION OF INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING

A DEFINITION OF INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING
Industrial engineering is also operations management, systems engineering, production engineering, manufacturing engineering or manufacturing systems engineering; a distinction that seems to depend on the viewpoint or motives of the user. Recruiters or educational establishments use the names to differentiate themselves from others. In healthcare, industrial engineers are more commonly known as management engineers or health systems engineers.

Where as most engineering disciplines apply skills to very specific areas, industrial engineering is applied in virtually every industry. Examples of where industrial engineering might be used include shortening lines (or queues) at a theme park, streamlining an operating room, distributing products worldwide (also referred to as Supply Chain Management), and manufacturing cheaper and more reliable automobiles. Industrial engineers typically use computer simulation, especially discrete event simulation, for system analysis and evaluation.

The name "industrial engineer" can be misleading. While the term originally applied to manufacturing, it has grown to encompass services and other industries as well. Similar fields include Operations Research, Management Science, Financial Engineering, Supply Chain, Manufacturing Engineering, Engineering Management, Overall Equipment Effectiveness, Systems Engineering, Ergonomics, Process Engineering, Value Engineering and Quality Engineering.

There are a number of things industrial engineers do in their work to make processes more efficient, to make products more manufacturable and consistent in their quality, and to increase productivity.

INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING DEFINITIONS

INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING DEFINITIONS

A branch of engineering dealing with the design, development, and implementation of integrated systems of humans, machines, and information resources to provide products and services. Industrial engineering encompasses specialized knowledge and skills in the physical, social, engineering, and management sciences, such as human and cognitive sciences, computer systems and information technologies, manufacturing processes, operations research, production, and automation. The industrial engineer integrates people into the design and development of systems, thus requiring an understanding of the physical, physiological, psychological, and other characteristics that govern and affect the performance of individuals and groups in working environments.

Industrial engineering is a broad field compared to other engineering disciplines. The major activities of industrial engineering stem from manufacturing industries and include work methods analysis and improvement; work measurement and the establishment of standards; machine tool analysis and design; job and workplace design; plant layout and facility design; materials handling; cost reduction; production planning and scheduling; inventory control, maintenance, and replacement; statistical quality control; scheduling; assembly-line balancing, systems, and procedures; and overall productivity improvement. Computers and information systems have necessitated additional activities and functions, including numerically controlled machine installation and programming; manufacturing systems design; computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing, design of experiments, quality engineering, and statistical process control; computer simulation, operations research, and management science methods; computer applications, software development, and information technology; human-factors engineering and ergonomics; systems design and integration; and robotics and automation.

The philosophy and motivation of the industrial engineering profession is to find the most efficient and effective methods, procedures, and processes for an operating system, and to seek continuous improvement. Thus, industrial engineering helps organizations grow and expand efficiently during periods of prosperity, and streamline costs and consolidate and reallocate resources during austere times. Industrial engineers, particularly those involved in manufacturing and related industries, work closely with management. Therefore, some understanding of organizational behavior, finance, management, and related business principles and practices is needed.

INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING – WORKING CONDITIONS

INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING – WORKING CONDITIONS

Industrial engineers spend part of their time in factories, observing operations and trying to spot problems. At times, they must travel to construction sites, laboratories, industrial plants, transportation facilities, warehouses, and other places that are part of their company's total operations. Most of their time is spent in offices, where they monitor or direct operations, identifying and solving problems and working to improve efficiency. Many engineers work a standard forty-hour week. At times, deadlines or design standards may bring extra pressure to a job, requiring longer hours.

EARNINGS AND BENEFITS

Earnings for engineers vary significantly by specialty. Even so, as a group engineers earn some of the highest average starting salaries among those holding bachelor's degrees. Petroleum and nuclear engineers earn the highest median wage, while agricultural engineers earn the lowest. Beginning industrial engineers with bachelor's degrees earn a median annual salary of $49,567 in private industry. Those with master's degrees earn about $56,561 a year. The median annual income for all industrial engineers is $65,020. Benefits include paid holidays and vacations, health insurance, and pension plans.

INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING - GETTING THE JOB

INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING - GETTING THE JOB

The placement offices in universities or engineering schools can provide information about getting a job as an industrial engineer. Professional and trade publications as well as newspaper want ads and Internet job sites often list job openings. Applicants may apply directly to manufacturing companies that are likely to need industrial engineers.

ADVANCEMENT POSSIBILITIES AND EMPLOYMENT OUTLOOK

Advancement usually depends on education and experience. Industrial engineers are often promoted to jobs as managers and executives. Others advance by improving their skills and becoming experts in one industry or in one phase of industrial engineering. Some start their own engineering consulting firms or manufacturing companies.

The field of industrial engineering is expected to grow about as fast as the national average for all occupations through 2014. The job outlook is good. As firms seek to reduce costs and increase productivity, they are anticipated to turn increasingly to industrial engineers to develop more efficient processes to reduce costs, delays, and waste. Because their work is similar to that done in management occupations, many industrial engineers leave the occupation to become managers. Many job openings are expected to be created by the need to replace the industrial engineers who transfer to other occupations or leave the labor force.

INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING EDUCATION AND TRAINING REQUIREMENTS

INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING EDUCATION AND TRAINING REQUIREMENTS

A bachelor's degree in industrial engineering is required for almost all entry-level industrial engineering jobs. College graduates with degrees in a physical science or mathematics may occasionally qualify for some engineering jobs, especially in specialties in high demand.

Most engineering programs involve a concentration of study in an engineering specialty, along with courses in both mathematics and science. Many programs also include courses in general engineering. A design course, often accompanied by a computer or laboratory class, is part of the curriculum of most programs.


HOW SHOULD BE AN INDUSTRIAL ENGINEER?

HOW SHOULD BE AN INDUSTRIAL ENGINEER?

Industrial engineers must be good at solving problems. They must combine their technical knowledge with a sense of human capabilities and limitations. They should be able to organize many details into a broad view of the total operations and organization of a company. Although much of their work is done independently, industrial engineers must also be able to cooperate with other engineers, technicians, and managers. They must be able to talk with production workers and be willing to understand their concerns. Since they may present their plans in the form of written reports or oral presentations, industrial engineers must have good communication skills.


INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING DEFINITION

INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING DEFINITION

Industrial engineers determine the most effective ways to use the basic factors of production—people, machines, materials, information, and energy—to make a product.

They are primarily concerned with increasing productivity through the management of people, methods of business organization, and technology. To solve organizational, production, and related problems efficiently, industrial engineers carefully study the product requirements, use mathematical methods to meet those requirements, and design manufacturing and information systems. They develop management control systems to aid in financial planning and cost analysis, and design production planning and control systems to coordinate activities and ensure product quality. They also design or improve systems for the physical distribution of goods and services, as well as determining the most efficient plant locations. Industrial engineers develop wage and salary administration systems and job evaluation programs. Many industrial engineers move into management positions because the work is closely related to the work of managers.

WHAT INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERS DO?

WHAT INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERS DO?

So what do industrial engineers do to increase productivity and assure quality?
An Industrial Engineer can perform several activities to fulfill its task:
Processes and Procedures of manufacturing or service activities can be examined through Process Analysis.

They can Use Work Study comprehending Method Study and Time Study. Method Study is the Study of How a job is performed examining and recording the activities, operators, equipment and materials involved in the process. Time Study records and rates the times of jobs being performed. The mentioned activities are also called operations Management. Furthermore can Industrial Engineering involve inventory management to make a manufacturing process more feasible and efficient. Industrial Engineers are also involved in design activities for Products, Equipment, Plants and Workstations. Here ergonomics and motion economy play a role. Last but not least is the Industrial Engineer playing an important role in developing Quality Management Systems (as they i.e. should comply with the ISO 9000 Standards). Here they often have job titles like Quality Engineer or Quality Manager.


DEFINITION OF INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING - THE WORK OF AN INDUSTRIAL ENGINEER

DEFINITION OF INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERING - THE WORK OF AN INDUSTRIAL ENGINEER

The field of engineering is subdivided in several major disciplines like mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, civil engineering, electronical engineering, chemical engineering, metallurgical engineering, and also industrial engineering. Certainly this discipline can also be subdivided further. Industrial Engineering integrates knowledge and skills from several fields of science: From the Technical Sciences, Economic Sciences as well as Human Science - all these can also be supported with skills in Information Sciences.

The Industrial Engineer comprehends knowledge in those sciences in order to increase the productivity of processes, achieve quality products and assures Labour safety.


WHERE DO INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERS WORK?

WHERE DO INDUSTRIAL ENGINEERS WORK?

The term “industrial” actually applies to “any organization”. Industrial engineering gives the graduates the opportunity to work in all kinds of business; manufacturing firms, service industries, and municipal and government organizations.

Some sample projects of IE’s are as follows:

  • Preparing the night shift schedule at a hospital
  • Performing production planning activities of a manufacturing firm
  • Developing layout of a bank
  • Simulation modelling
  • Designing a product that will prevent worker injury


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