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Topic Title: Engineering definitions
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Created On: 03 May 2011 04:16 PM
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 03 May 2011 04:16 PM
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I would be grateful to hear your learned opinions. What, if any, is the difference between a Manufacturing Engineer and a Production Engineer?
 04 May 2011 03:22 PM
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I don't know if there is a formal definitiion, but as one who graduated long ago with a degree in Engineering Production (as Birmingham liked to describe Production Engineering,) I will be glad to share my thoughts.

I see Manufacturing Engineering (ME) as being concerned with the specifics of manufacturing processes. It gets into the details of metal cutting and forming, tooling design, part fixturing, assembly techniques, surface preparation and coating methods, molding and curing processes and so on.

Production Engineering (PE) is more oriented towards the organization of manufacturing. Thus it is more concerned with workplace layout, cellular design, workplace ergonomics, kanban, kaizen, and so on. My view is that PE grew out of the old Work Study and Time and Motion disciplines and so is more people and organization oriented than is ME. That said, there is clearly a big overlap between the two. A good ME needs to understand PE tools and techniques, and vice versa.

Now that's just my opinion. I'd like to hear what others have to say on the subject.

 09 June 2011 04:29 PM
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So would I, that's why I raised it.

Your views line up largely with mine and, as such, take me no further forward. I am involved in a newly constructed department which is an amalgamation of different production and process development groups across the organisation. Therein are a group of people who are known as Manufacturing Engineers. Examination of their job role led me to think that maybe they should be known as Production Engineers. My difficulty is that not only do the two disciplines overlap as you rightly say, but that our people do all the things in both disciplines. What's in a name? What does it matter? A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet (unfortunately we can't say that about most engineers!) but some are precious about their titles and we want to project the right image to the business.
The debate rages.
 09 June 2011 10:39 PM
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I can only agree with the above, indeed the dictionary definition of production {the process of being manufactured} supports it.

But why does it not take you further forward ?
There is clearly a merging between the two disciplines and you have licence to determine the boundaries (or overlap) for your industry.

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