A manufacturing engineer will plan, design, setup, modify, optimise and monitor a manufacturing process. They work to produce high quality goods efficiently in the most cost effective methods and are conscious of the environment and its protection.
Manufacturing engineers are designers, as well as analytical and creative thinkers. They can operate on their own initiative but also contribute as a team member working with engineers from various disciplines. Manufacturing engineers also work with other professionals, in areas such as finance and health and safety.
Manufacturing engineers have the benefit of working in a wide range of areas, as the basic manufacturing principles apply to all industries. They are employed in numerous sectors, including food and drink, oil, plastics and pharmaceuticals.
Typical work activities
As manufacturing engineers are employed in various industries and in numerous roles, their role may include:
- Designing new systems and processes for the introduction of new products for the improvement of existing ones;
- Working with other engineers such as chemical, mechanical and electrical engineers, to ensure all product and system requirements are taken into account from the initial product conception to finished result;
- Working with other professionals such as accountants and human resources personnel, to manage budget aspects and recruitment of junior engineers;
- Examining and tendering for new equipment to ensure the highest quality at the best price;
- Supervising junior engineers and sub-contractors and ensuring effective communication in order to avoid errors;
- Organising plant start-up and shut-down schedules to ensure minimum loss of production time and profits;
- Liaising with the research and development department to ensure company is at forefront of ground-breaking research;
- Keeping up to date with current and developing trends at national and international level in the manufacturing industry;
- Attending training courses and conferences – the engineer should always participate in CPD (continuous professional development) programmes affiliated to their professional body.