Production engineering is a combination of manufacturing technology with management science. A production engineer typically has a wide knowledge of engineering practices and is aware of the management challenges related to production. The goal is to accomplish the production process in the smoothest, most-judicious and most-economic way.
Production engineering encompasses the application of castings,machining processing, joining processes, metal cutting & tool design, metrology, machine tools, machining systems, automation, jigs and fixtures, die and mould design, material science, design of automobile parts, and machine designing and manufacturing. Production engineering also overlaps substantially with manufacturing engineering and industrial engineering.
In industry, once the design is realized, production engineering concepts regarding work-study, ergonomics, operation research, manufacturing management, materials management, production planning, etc., play important roles in efficient production processes. These deal with integrated design and efficient planning of the entire manufacturing system, which is becoming increasingly complex with the emergence of sophisticated production methods and control systems.
The production engineer possesses a wide set of skills, competences and attitudes based on market and scientific knowledge. These abilities are fundamental for the performance of coordinating and integrating professionals of multidisciplinary teams. The production engineer should be able to:
- Scale and integrate resources. Usually required to consider physical, human and financial resources at high efficiency and low cost, yet considering the possibility of continuous further improvement;
- Make proper use of math and statistics to model production systems during decision making process;
- Design, implement and refine products, services, processes and systems taking in consideration that constraints and particularities of the related communities;
- Predict and analyze the demand. Select among scientific and technological appropriate knowledge in order to design, redesign or improve product/service functionality;
- Incorporate concepts and quality techniques along all the productive system. Deploy organizational standards for control proceedings and auditing;
- Stay up-to-date with technological developments, enabling them to enterprises and society;
- Understand the relation between production systems and the environment. This relates to the use of scarce resources, production rejects and sustainability;
- Manage and optimize flow (information and production flow).
Work opportunities are available in public and private sector manufacturing organizations engaged in implementation, development and management of new production processes, information and control systems, and computer controlled inspection, assembly and handling..
The Ford Motor company's factory at Willow Run utilised Production Engineering principles to achieve record mass production of the B-24 Liberator military aircraft during World War II.
- "O Engenheiro de Produção da UFSCar está apto a" [Production Engineer UFSCar is able to] (in Portuguese). Departamento de Engenharia de Produção (DEP). Retrieved 2013-06-26.