What Does an Industrial Engineer Do?
An industrial engineer is a professional who works across a broad range of engineering disciplines, using their skills to help improve manufacturing processes. Often, the work of industrial engineers involves designing a product or process from start to finish and then testing it out for a range of different factors and uses.
A lot of the time, they will use their knowledge and skills to make a device more efficient or safe to use. They will also ensure that it is manufactured correctly and in a way that is environmentally friendly.
They may also use their skills to develop new products or services that can benefit the wider population and save people money in the long run. These are referred to as ‘product development’ professionals and they are an important part of many companies’ success stories.
The term ‘industry’ can be confusing because it refers to a variety of different groups of businesses that produce similar goods or services. However, the most common way to categorize businesses is based on their primary business activities and they are then grouped together into different sectors.
Sectors tend to be much more general than industries, and the same company can fall under more than one category. For example, Rite Aid is considered part of the personal services industry, but they also make and sell photographs. They are also part of the photofinishing laboratories industry, and so they have been assigned multiple NAICS codes.
Traditionally, an industrial engineer would work in a factory, but with the advent of the ‘lean’ movement in the last few years, industrial engineers have changed their focus to reducing waste and improving worker productivity. This is now done through the use of ‘time-and-motion study’ and other scientific management techniques, which allow engineers to predict and reduce production times by up to 50%.
This is a very interesting and exciting area of work that will keep growing in the future. As companies seek to be more competitive and better run, there will be a huge need for industrial engineers who can find innovative ways to improve efficiency and productivity.
They will be in demand for a variety of businesses, including those that manufacture, distribute and mercantile goods. They will also be in demand in the entertainment and shipping industries, as well as those that provide healthcare services to the public.
In the modern world, there are dozens of industry classifications that are used to group companies that produce similar goods or services together. Some of these are based on the primary product that the company makes or sells, while others are based on their largest sources of revenue.
A sector can be classified as a durable or non-durable industry, depending on the product that it produces. Durable industries produce goods that are usually used for a long period of time and will need to be repaired or maintained over a considerable amount of time. The automotive and aviation sectors are examples of durable industries, while food and agriculture are non-durable industries that require immediate consumption.