Manufacturing engineers ensure that products are made on time, correctly, and meet quality standards. They are the bridge between product design and the final product. But how, exactly, does a manufacturing engineer spend the day?
No Day is “Typical” for a Manufacturing Engineer
While engineers have a list of things to do each day, no day is really “typical.” Jobs and responsibilities vary from company to company and every day can be different, especially when a new product is being made or if an unforeseen issue arises on the floor. However, in general, manufacturing engineers are responsible for:
- Using engineering drawings to create plans for building the product with the tools and machinery available. It has been compared to using LEGO instructions on a much more complex scale.
- Programming the machinery so it does exactly what it is supposed to in the process, at exactly the right time.
- Providing floor support to the laborers who work on the machines to build the product. They may have issues with their equipment, questions on their instructions or they may have issues with their hardware. It is up to the engineer to help those workers solve their problems.
- Identifying ways to improve processes to make things more efficient.
- Identifying, evaluating and helping to purchase new machinery to give the company a competitive edge.
Manufacturing engineers have offices where they conduct some of their work, but they are also out on the floor for a good portion of the day, keeping an eye on the process and helping laborers and machinists as needed.
Every shift needs to have engineers on staff, and different companies staff those shifts in different ways. First shift typically starts between 6 and 7 a.m., second shift starts at 3 or 4 p.m., and some companies run a third shift overnight. Some engineers work double shifts three or four days per week, some work one shift five or six days. Some manufacturing engineers work the same shift all the time, others may be asked to rotate.
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