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Biggest Time Wasters for Industrial / Manufacturing Engineers

Biggest Time Wasters for Industrial / Manufacturing Engineers

Biggest Time Wasters for Industrial / Manufacturing Engineers

A recent economic outlook survey from IHS / Globalspec indicated that the top areas of focus for industrial / manufacturing companies related to the engineering profession are (in order)

1. Entering new markets;
2. New product design & development;
3. Researching future products;
4. Reduce quality rejects;
7. Launching new products
8. More capacity from existing lines; and
9. Reduction of waste and scrap.

In addition to these areas of focus, the survey also indicated that the 76% of engineers are managing either the same or more projects than they were in 2011. This survey indicates to me that there is a tremendous focus on engineers actually getting to spend their time doing engineering as opposed to wasting their time on tasks that cut into that time. I am curious if these results line up with what the engineers that frequent this forum are experiencing and if so, what are the key things that limit them from being as effective an engineer as they could be? In essence, what is on your !@#$ list that if you could get rid of or reduce the time to do would allow you to focus more on engineering?

Thanks for any input.

Barry Lucas

RE: Biggest Time Wasters for Industrial / Manufacturing Engineers

Inappropriate application of ideas like DFMA, FMEA ... to very low volume, relatively low cost products where the time spent to eliminate a couple of fasteners or similar is almost certainly not recouped.

Posting guidelines FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm? (probably not aimed specifically at you)
What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

RE: Biggest Time Wasters for Industrial / Manufacturing Engineers

In that list, learning to count was #5, and learning to proofread was #6.

RE: Biggest Time Wasters for Industrial / Manufacturing Engineers

Unnecessary meetings.

<grumpy rant mode ON>
Some meetings are critcal & important, most are not. Many times meetings are called for political purposes because someone / some company culture refuses to be accountable for their decisions. Meetings are called to provide a consensus and share the blame in the event of bad decisions.
<grumpy rant mode OFF>

Many moons ago I got criticized because I was not meeting my project deadlines as a manufacturing engineer. I performed a self time-study for 3 weeks, rigorously recording my time in 15 minute increments. I discovered that I was only 40% efficient with my time, the other 60% was spent mostly on meetings, but also potty-breaks, water-cooler BS sessions, vendor meetings, and a few other topics, both valid and invalid. I showed this data to my boss. I told him I could start developing project plans and spread the times out to account for the 40% efficiency. To his credit what he did was starting eliminating meetings, and it all started to click better after that.

Another company culture I suffered through was all about meetings. Most were useless and I said so. I also starting "declining" most of the MSOutlook meeting invitations. That sure caused a stink. But it required one person to actually state that the King had no clothes, and the meetings frequency was reduced.

Blue Technik LLC
Virtuoso Robotics Engineering

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