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Justification of Manufacturing Engineering for a Company

Justification of Manufacturing Engineering for a Company

Justification of Manufacturing Engineering for a Company

I work in a company that builds aerospace product for OEMs (Spirit, Textron, Boeing, Gulfstream, Airbus, Northrop, etc)

We have "planners" and we have machine programming. We do not have anyone really focus on Manufacturing Engineering principles. ALL engineers are under "ENGINEERING", but they are focused on New Planning and after a production produces the part a few times, they wash their hands with the process. The ONLY time the engineers get involved is when there is a serious scheduling or Quality Problem. Other than that, it is up to Production personal to Raise their and and make a request.... but if the problem is not impacting schedule/quality, then the request is likely not to be granted.
I have worked here 12 years, I have yet to see anyone do a study of COST or savings of any Manufacturing Improvements. So if we need a Tool, the engineering department will deny based on it will cost $xxxx OR it will take X long. I have NEVER heard or seen someone say, "We cannot do that project because the COST far exceeds the BENEFIT"

I believe the only thing they will see is if I can show the dollar value of not having sufficient Mfg Engineering Support.

I am looking for suggestions on the best way to show the opportunities this company is missing by not having this role.

- We have significant issues with Job Standards and Scheduling. We have department that DAILY runs 40-80 hours over the Standard.
- We have painful process to get ANY planning changed or updated

RE: Justification of Manufacturing Engineering for a Company

By way of example. under antiwork on reddit was the story of a situation where a guy (let's call him Bob) clocked in 5 minutes late one day. His recently new boss demanded an explanation and said that Bob would be fired if he did that ever again. So Bob made sure it didn't happen again.

What the new boss didn't know was that Bob usually came in an hour early. Bob looked at the work to be done by the factory, made sure things were where they needed to be, and then, just before clock-in time, Bob would clock in.

On the fateful day Bob had found a big problem and it took him longer than expected to clear it up. That's what got Bob's new boss to threaten Bob's job.

Needless to say, Bob no longer came in early, no longer made sure things were where they should be, no longer avoided upcoming problems and the production rate plummeted. I recall the upper management started asking what had happened and all fingers pointed to Bob's new boss, who soon became Bob's ex-boss.

So, if you want things to go better, it's probable that becoming Bob and working out the scheduling and making estimates of costs and avoiding problems, to the best you can, will start to see the factory become more productive. Give it 6 months to a year to get them addicted to it and then quit doing it. When problems come back and production drops, mention that you were doing things to make it better, but it was taking too much time before or after work and you kept running into cases where a few dollars for a tool could save hundreds or thousands, but you had no budget. Mention if they made the position permanent you could save them time and money and you would have at least 6 months of data to prove how much.

It's a risk to put in that time as it might not work out; you can decide then if you want to stay put anyway, but if you go elsewhere you will have the background to discuss what you tried to do and what you accomplished under the limitations.

RE: Justification of Manufacturing Engineering for a Company


- We have significant issues with Job Standards and Scheduling. We have department that DAILY runs 40-80 hours over the Standard.
- We have painful process to get ANY planning changed or updated

It seems to me that these are the symptoms of a bigger systemic problem. It indicates that company management is not interested in, nor held accountable for, profitability, financial efficiency, or operational productivity. Financial metrics may be so out-of-whack that they feel current profits are sufficient. Any improvement will contradict the managerial narrative and cause an embarrassment. I've been down this road before, and it's bumpy.

Deploying a Manufacturing Engineering function is the tool needed to fix the symptom, but not the problem.

What is needed is a company culture change, and that is rarely possible at your level in the organization. If you have the patience and fortitude, you can perhaps run small tactical non-threatening improvement projects by stealth. After positive results are shown, someone may see the benefits and run with it. Be prepared to make it look some manager's idea.

Blue Technik LLC
Manufacturing Engineering Consulting

RE: Justification of Manufacturing Engineering for a Company

Don't ever let it look like some manager's idea. While it might make the project move forward, that will give that manager a reason to fire you to prevent discovery that it was not his idea. Even if they don't it will given that manager the idea to beat more work out of you for which they can take credit; they will not be able to ask for a raise for you on this basis because, clearly, you did noting to deserve it.

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