A manufacturing systems engineer works as part of a team to design, install, monitor and develop all systems affecting the manufacturing cycle of a product. The aim is to develop and maintain efficient manufacturing systems, producing the maximum volume of high-quality product at the lowest cost and in the shortest time.
Manufacturing systems engineers work to integrate the entire manufacturing process, from production and supply through to sales. A systematic approach to money, methods, materials and technology, across traditional departmental boundaries, is required. The latest computer technology is used and this provides a systematic approach to manufacturing.
Typical work activities
Rather than specialising in one particular part of the process, manufacturing systems engineers are responsible for seeing a job through all of its stages.
Typical work activities include:
Designing the layout of the plant;
Designing, developing and installing plant control systems;
Liaising with designers, researchers and engineering consultants;
Attending production meetings and forecasting production requirements;
Calculating production costs;
Deciding on the effective use of resources, e.g. raw materials, equipment and staff;
Producing maintenance schedules;
Testing that systems are working correctly;
Identifying, investigating and repairing system faults;
Supervising the work of manufacturing engineers, trainee engineers and support staff;
Overseeing the installation, repair and re-assembly of equipment;
Demonstrating new and existing equipment to systems engineers, support staff and production managers;
Discussing and evaluating systems failures with plant managers and non-technical personnel;
Investigating environmental hazards;
Reviewing results and meeting with managers to discuss methods of improving the productivity of existing systems;
Investigating ways in which the latest technology could improve the productivity rate of the manufacturing system;
Sourcing new suppliers of industrial equipment;
Testing, monitoring and evaluating new mechanical equipment;
Conducting safety tests and removing potential hazards;
Establishing and implementing a quality culture within the manufacturing environment;
Visiting other production sites;
Reading specialist journals and attending training courses and industry meetings in order to keep up to date with the latest technological developments and trends in engineering.