The demand for expert engineers will rise and they need to be qualified individuals who understand manufacturing.
Today almost everything you use in your daily life is made in China. Still, it doesn’t mean that the USA doesn’t need well-seasoned engineers who know a thing or two about manufacturing.
These days manufacturing plays a significant role in the U.S. economy, producing $1,7 trillion in goods. What is more, this sector will only be thriving within the next years, as the cost of production in China is rising, while the USA automatizes the majority of processes. Thus, decreasing the production cost (and improving the efficiency).
Innovation and manufacturing should develop side by side, as engineers are those able to offer new technologies, extend new fields and help to create a better world with greater innovation technologies.
For this reason, the demand for expert engineers will only rise, and they should be qualified professionals who are aware of all the subtleties of manufacturing. Here are the main reasons why manufacturing is so crucial when it comes to engineering.
You need to understand manufacturing to be an effective engineer
The first reason why manufacturing should become one of the priorities when teaching future engineers is because an engineer can’t work in isolation. It’s possible to come up with some creative idea, but it’s almost impossible to make it an effective and cost-efficient product if you don’t have the grasp of the whole manufacturing process.
“No matter what type of engineering a student is going to pursue, they need to know the subtleties of mass-production, for instance. Otherwise, we will end up having great creative specialists knowing nothing about using their skills in real life. What is more, this lack of knowledge can create a huge gap between theory and practical problems that need a solution,” says Nick Bradshaw, student at the University of North Texas and editor at LegitWritingServices.
That is why, learning about manufacturing helps to close this gap between theoretical and practical knowledge. Thus, building the bridge that engineers can use to breathe life into their amazing ideas.
Engineers are the ones who can restore manufacturing in the USA
Another reason why it’s essential to teach manufacturing to engineers is that they are the ones who will in turn restore the manufacturing sector in the USA.
Within the last decades this sector was a bit lacking behind, being compared to the sector of service, for instance. These days when the demand is rising, and the U.S. government is interested in strengthening the field, we will need experts who will understand the concept of modern manufacturing (its pitfalls and subtleties) as well as people who are skilled to come up with brand new engineer solutions.
The best way to reach the goal is when an employee is perfectly skilled in these two areas. It will result in developing the manufacturing sector faster and stronger.
Manufacturing helps engineers see ‘the bigger picture’
As we have already mentioned, understanding manufacturing is essential for engineers to see ‘the bigger picture’. This is how the design of a new product is going to be more effective, as a design engineer will understand the cost, the troubles, and the peculiarities of how to produce their design, how to breathe life into it and reap all the benefits.
It is good when you know how to build a new device, but it is perfect when you know how to produce it at low cost without lowering the quality standards, for instance. This is the reason why manufacturing is essential for engineers.
Management and manufacturing are indispensable
When including manufacturing in the curriculum, nuts and bolts of management are taught as well. This is how we can ensure that engineering graduates are well-apt in management skills. That is to say, they know how to manage people, how to build an effective and comfortable working environment.
What is more, such skills help the future specialists to grasp the idea of how to work in a team, how to set timeframes and manage the budget. Things that may seem less important for engineers at first glance are in fact the essentials any employees should know about.
How to produce cost-efficient products. How to keep the quality high. How not to exceed the budget. These are just the few things that are taught within the manufacturing area. It goes without saying that this knowledge is vital for engineers-to-be.
Isn’t it like ‘a Jack of all trades is the master of none’?
Many students often blame universities for teaching too much irrelevant and unnecessary information. Furthermore, they often claim that these unnecessary subjects steal their time that they could have spent on more important subjects. Honestly, there may be some gaps and problems in education, as well as there may be some truly irrelevant subjects.
However, learning one subject only won’t make a person a good specialist, as they will be limited within some particular area. In our changing environment these days, it’s not enough. A good employee should be a well-rounded person, and we’re not talking about ‘a Jack off all trades’.
If an engineer specializes and spends 90% of its education time on engineering subjects and 10% on engineering related subjects, it will result in having professionals we have always dreamed about. That is why, manufacturing is crucial when it comes to including it in engineering studies.
All of the problems we face nowadays are interrelated, making it vital for employees to have great analytical skills and being able to see ‘the bigger picture’.
Having their engineering knowledge as a foundation opens them the doors to being a good specialist in future. Knowing the core things about manufacturing makes it possible for them to become the best professionals.