Industrial Engineering and Manufacturing Technologists and Technicians - What They Do
Industrial engineering and manufacturing technologists and technicians may work independently or provide technical support and services in the development of production methods, facilities and systems, and the planning, estimating, measuring and scheduling of work. They are employed by manufacturing and insurance companies, government departments, and establishments in other industries.
This group performs some or all of the following duties:
- Industrial engineering and manufacturing technologists
- Develop and conduct production, inventory and quality assurance programs in manufacturing or in other industries
- Design plant layouts and production facilities
- Develop and carry out work study and related programs
- Develop and carry out industrial health, safety and fire prevention plans and programs and conduct safety training programs
- Develop applications using CAD/CAM (computer-assisted drafting, computer-assisted manufacturing) for the control of robots, computer numerical control (CNC) machines and other manufacturing processes and operations.
- Industrial engineering and manufacturing technicians
- Assist in the design of plant layouts
- Conduct work measurement or other studies
- Collect and compile operational or experimental data and assist in the development of estimates, schedules, specifications and reports
- Collect and analyze data and samples in support of quality assurance and industrial health and safety programs
- Develop manufacturing and processing procedures and variables, set machine or equipment controls, oversee production and inspect processes.
- Technologists and technicians in this unit group may specialize in the development of production processes, quality assurance programs, plans and schedules in a particular industrial area such as metal fabrication, plastics, pulp and paper, or textile manufacturing.
- CAD/CAM programmer
- scheduling technician - manufacturing
- loss prevention technologist - manufacturing
- industrial engineering technician
- industrial engineering technologist
- manufacturing technician
- manufacturing technologist
- planning technician
- plastics manufacturing technician
- pulp and paper manufacturing technologist
- quality assurance technologist
- textile technologist
- time study analyst
This is what you typically need for the job:
- Completion of a two- or three-year college program or equivalent in industrial engineering technology, pulp and paper technology, plastics technology, textile technology, manufacturing technology or a related discipline is usually required for industrial engineering or manufacturing technologists.
- Completion of a one- or two-year college program in industrial engineering technology or in a related discipline is usually required for industrial engineering or manufacturing technicians.
- Certification in industrial engineering or manufacturing technology or in a related field is available through provincial or territorial associations of engineering/applied science technologists and technicians and may be required for some positions.
- A period of supervised work experience, usually two years, is required before certification.
- A college diploma in manufacturing technology and/or trade certification and experience in machining and tooling or metalworking is required for CAD-CAM/CNC programmers.
- In Quebec, membership in the regulatory body is required to use the title “Professional Technologist.”
- Read notes on production orders, reporting forms and drawings. For example, they read production orders to determine what is being produced, production timelines and special instructions to follow that are outside normal specifications. In addition, they read notes on drawings about product modifications. (1)
- Observe hazard, warning and caution signs and labels on equipment, walls, components and containers. (1)
- Review Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for detailed information about hazardous chemicals used during production. (2)
- Read memos and e-mail from co-workers and supervisors about quality control, production issues and modifications, design requirements and other day-to-day activities. (2)
- Read explanations and recommendations in quality and production reports, logbooks and production files to track product and manufacturing concerns and deficiencies. The text usually expands on technical data in tables, graphs and printouts. They use the information to troubleshoot, and to recommend and implement corrective action. (3)
- Read trade magazines and association newsletters to stay current on developments in various industries. For example, a manufacturing technologist reads articles about building automation systems when planning a new networking system. (3)
- Read government legislation, regulations and subsequent bulletins and addenda. For example, they read building codes, International Standards Organization (ISO) rules, National Safety code and Occupational Health and Safety Acts to stay current and ensure newly developed or modified production procedures meet regulatory requirements. (4)
- Read and refer to lengthy materials such as health and safety policies, internal procedures and production specifications. They use their technical knowledge to interpret the information to apply it to specific situations and evaluate for accuracy and relevance when starting production of new products. (4)
- Read and compare the company's and customer's production specifications, which may be several hundred pages in length. They read and compare the specifications to make sure they match and that their equipment and suppliers have the capacity to meet unusual specifications. The specifications, such as material standards and finishing procedures, are complex and use process-specific terminology. (4)
- Scan a variety of labels and tags to get specific information such as material codes and product types and handling procedures. For example, they read Workplace Hazardous Material Information System (WHMIS) labels and transportation of dangerous goods placards when working with hazardous materials. (1)
- Verify and take information from a variety of tracking and quality control forms. The information is presented in a variety of formats such as tables, lists and text boxes. For example, they scan production schedules when tracking production times, and quality specification forms when locating production values. They review parts numbers, materials codes and descriptions on parts and materials lists. (2)
- Complete tracking and quality control forms. For example, they complete reporting forms such as inspection, maintenance and evaluation forms, production logs and safety checklists. The documents identify and track a variety of data and explanations of production jobs, such as how often equipment was lubricated, equipment operating values, material composition and shipping information. They complete non-conformance forms to indicate production deficiencies and corrective actions. (2)
- Complete quality control tags and labels. For example, they compete 'hold' and defective product tags by entering dates, product and job traveler number and brief descriptions of defective and reason for holding it back. (2)
- Review tooling lists and tooling sequences sheets when completing pre-production inspections to ensure the optimum tools and tooling sequences are used and when troubleshooting production deficiencies such as scratched and bent venting plates. (3)
- Refer to assembly drawings and diagrams to follow installation and calibration procedures on new equipment, components and tooling parts such as HVAC systems. In addition, they refer to assembly drawings of products such as plastic milk crates to check quality at various stages of production. (3)
- Scan schematics to complete operations and inspections. For example, they review process schematics to understand how products operate and to complete quality performance checks. They review power distribution schematics when troubleshooting power surges. (3)
- Scan quality control tables and graphs on computer screens and printouts to verify manufacturing tolerances and specifications are within established ranges. They may use the information to adjust and modify equipment settings, tooling sequences and material composition. (3)
- Take measurements from scale drawings. For example, they take height, width, length and angle measurements from scale drawings to verify that fabrication measurements meet client's specifications. and quality control standards. They take location measurements from production and manufacturing floor plans to determine where to place new equipment. They review fabrication drawings of products such as metal casings to determine sequence of operations and tooling sequences. In addition, they review drawings for omissions and errors (4)
- Write brief notes and e-mail to co-workers and managers to request clarification about product updates and modifications. In addition, they share technical information such as testing results. (1)
- Write notes and e-mail to production or quality control managers to highlight safety and production concerns, such as safety breaches or processing deficiencies in the packing area. (2)
- Write notes on inspection forms or production job files to maintain records of equipment malfunctions, product deficiencies and corrective actions. (2)
- Write detailed procedures for tasks such as hazardous waste disposal using standard formats and templates. They integrate information from a variety of sources such as handling instructions, data sheets and safety guidelines to develop the procedures. (3)
- Complete quality control forms such as non-compliance, or non-conformance; and health and safety forms, including those for breach, accident and incident. For example, they complete non-compliance forms to outline problems or deficiencies, causal factors, and corrective action taken and follow up measures recommended. (3)
- Write training materials. For example, they develop training exercises for operating a particular piece of equipment, reviewing and using fabrication drawings or safety procedures. (3)
- Write production and quality reports, which outline production problems and inefficiencies, corrective action taken and recommendations. For example, they write reports to outline production inefficiencies such as product wastage during loading and methods for wastage reduction. They may write reports for special projects such as findings from effluent waste-water deposit tests which are subject to internal quality reviews and external audits. (4)
- Write new sections and updates for company policy and procedures manuals. For example, they may write new laboratory procedures for a new product, safe work practices, hazard analysis and emergency response procedures. They use specialized knowledge to synthesize information from many sources to present the information in plain language. (4)
- Verify the accuracy of bills or invoice totals. (2)
- Calculate the amount of expense claims using per diem amounts, rates per kilometre for distances and by adding receipts. (2)
Scheduling, Budgeting & Accounting Math
- Produce work and inspection schedules for the production units. These schedules can become more complex depending on the size of the production job, and the number of components and people that must be factored in. (2)
- Schedule the sequence of events needed to complete trial production runs. For example, they schedule the equipment and tooling set-up, the human resources for the trial runs and the testing time for a new metal casing. They must carefully schedule the sequence of events to avoid production delays, minimize costs and downtime, and reduce product defects and material wastage. (3)
Measurement and Calculation Math
- Measure available floor space when designing new production layouts. They take measurements to confirm the dimension of existing systems and equipment when verifying new pieces of equipment will fit into the design structure. (2)
- Confirm dimensions of products using precise measurement tools such as micrometers, callipers, dial indicators and angle finders, or calculate mixture volumes and material composition ratios to ensure products meet specifications. (3)
- Take precise measurements using specialized equipment to make scale and three-dimensional drawings for new products. This involves measuring distances and calculating areas, perimeters and volumes. (3)
- Perform trigonometric calculations to indirectly obtain measurements for the establishment of production procedures. For example, a technologist calculates the inside angle of a rivet hole using the inside and outside diameters of the countersunk rivet hole provided by the client. (4)
Data Analysis Math
- Analyze quality control tests by repeating procedures on several samples, recording and comparing results to draw conclusions about the accuracy of tests. For example, they analyze the cycle time, material compositions, temperatures and pressures at different time intervals to ensure equipment is operating properly and that products meet specifications. (2)
- Analyze material use and operator output to determine production rates and costs when verifying price quotes for sales personnel. (2)
- Analyze job production data such as production time, material consumption, and first time right for each production area to identify defect and efficiency trends. (2)
- Compare the cycle time of products under different control settings such as injection rate, hydraulic pressure and temperature of melted plastic to determine the control settings that will maintain optimum product quality and production speed. (3)
- Estimate staffing and material requirements when scheduling production jobs. (1)
- Estimate the equipment settings for initial trial runs for new products. For example, they estimate how much pressure to apply at certain temperatures to get an even distribution of plastic through a mould using equipment settings from previous similar productions. (2)
- Estimate production and storage capacities when designing production layouts. They consider equipment production rates, size of product and packaging, material quantities and projected order sizes. In addition, they use their experience with similar warehouses and production lines to make their estimates. (3)
- Interact with co-workers such as equipment operators, quality control managers and shop supervisors to share information on equipment modifications and defects, and to coordinate workloads and activities such as alarm testing. (2)
- Participate in daily tool box meetings to recap and review production data and quality concerns. They listen, observe, and provide technical input. (2)
- Interact with suppliers and service providers to get detailed technical information about equipment, supplies and materials. For example, they discuss equipment modifications to reduce production costs and may negotiate contract terms with contractors and suppliers. (2)
- Interact with co-workers to coordinate work and share information. For example, they coordinate responses for emergency repairs and production stoppages, and discuss strategies for reducing production cycle times. (2)
- Lead and participate in various safety, quality and production committee meetings. They exchange information, provide best practices information and offer suggestions for production design and flow improvements. (3)
- Lead training sessions on topics such as reading and using fabrication drawings, and new equipment training for operating technicians. (3)
- Discuss planning and implementation of process and production improvements with co-workers, colleagues and managers. For example, they lead project teams to upgrade software systems and production equipment, develop new production processes or renovate manufacturing facilities. They use their technical knowledge to convey complex tasks and ideas and to share critical information. (3)
- Facilitate meetings with clients and managers to propose modifications to production drawings and system upgrades. They present their rationale in a persuasive manner. For example, they describe the necessary modifications to an existing electrical system to accommodate alarms and detectors. (3)
- Find that suppliers have sent incorrect supplies and materials. They inform quality control departments or managers about the error and re-order. (1)
- Discover quality control errors such as inaccurate entries in logbooks and reporting forms. They identify the problem areas and meet with machine operators and technicians to discuss correct reporting procedures. They monitor reports for improvement and speak with supervisors if the problems continue. (2)
- Experience equipment breakdowns and malfunctions, which shut down or slow production. For example, the master screen stops working in a pulp mill. The technician works with the machine operator to complete troubleshooting procedures on the equipment. They involve other technical experts such as instrumentation technicians and millwrights when the problem is outside of their knowledge. Down time is costly in manufacturing and industrial settings and the technicians must work quickly and efficiently to resolve the problem. (3)
- Face production deficiencies such as increased defects during production runs. They work individually and with co-workers and supervisors to examine a number of variables such as tooling sequences, equipment speed and humidity that could cause the defects. They use their specialized knowledge to identify the root cause and modify production procedures under tight time constraints. (3)
- Decide when to issue 'non-compliance' or incident reports, either internally to production managers or externally to suppliers. For example, they issue a non-compliance form to their managers when machine operators or suppliers fail to respond to previous requests for change. (2)
- Decide to repair, refurbish or replace production equipment. They examine and consider maintenance reports, equipment manuals and operators' recommendations when making their decisions. Poor decisions could result in costly equipment breakdowns and production stoppage. (3)
- Make equipment layout and manufacturing process decisions. For example, technicians decide the tooling sequence for five to ten pieces of equipment when fabricating metal computer casings, and how to set up the moulds in injection moulding machinery. (3)
- Decide what company policies and procedures to update or rewrite in response to regulatory and production standard changes. (3)
- Evaluate the condition and reliability of production equipment to make purchasing and repair recommendations. They use evaluation factors such as past breakdowns and repairs, present operating values and upcoming production jobs and costs to draw their conclusions. Emergency repairs could stop production if they err in their evaluation. (2)
- Evaluate the level of efficiency and safety of existing work environments and production processes. They use established criteria such as safety incidents, quality control data and production cost to make their evaluations. For example, they perform statistical analyses on data such as risk levels in the production units, noise or air quality levels and compare with government and industry regulations to recommend safe work policies and practices. (3)
- Evaluate the reliability, safety and efficiency of various building features such as electrical, mechanical and air quality systems. They consider the current and maximum operational performance of systems and their ability to meet upcoming needs. (3)
- Evaluate the quality and completeness of production drawings before approval. They work with engineers to gather information by taking measurements and reviewing process details to identify omissions and errors, and viewing information from production documents such as specifications and production orders. They use established criteria such as acceptable measurements, process details and conformity to specifications. The ability to evaluate the quality of drawings and processes to reduce production errors and deficiencies is a key job component. (3)
- Evaluate product quality based on reliability, durability and adherence to safety regulations and client specifications. They review trial test results and quality reports to ensure the equipment can operate at specified capacity levels. (3)
- Evaluate the adequacy of procedures for isolating root cause factors for production deficiencies or decreased product quality They identify parameters and investigate each one of them. They review data and supporting documents to ensure all potential factors have been evaluated and the problem is correctly identified. Finally, they work with their managers to ensure corrective actions are taken. Developing assessment criteria is a professional responsibility in manufacturing environments where small factors have a large impact on product outcomes. (3)
Job Task Planning and Organizing
Own Job Planning and Organizing
Industrial engineering and manufacturing technologists and technicians plan their own activities, prioritising tasks to maximize efficiency. They take into account production timelines and activities that involve other departments and operations. They interact and integrate tasks with a wide range of internal co-workers and managers where they often act as content experts. Their tasks vary widely depending on production and project development timeframes. They experience conflicting demands on their time when monitoring productions. They deal with interruptions but are able to return to their activities with some resequencing of tasks. (3)
Planning and Organizing for Others
Industrial engineering and manufacturing technologists and technicians may be responsible for providing technical support to equipment operators and other staff to ensure products meet quality standards. They may schedule the events and personnel required to complete trial production runs. They consider set-up time, the number of test runs and hours when planning and organizing tasks.
Most industrial engineering and manufacturing technologists and technicians have a role in identifying production and safety issues and develop procedural strategies for resolving issues. They provide input into operational planning. (3)
Significant Use of Memory
- Remember similar production deficiencies and equipment malfunctions, and the steps taken to overcome them.
- Remember chemical formulations to expedite the preparation time of materials.
- Remember the sequenced steps of various procedures such as the steps to complete equipment lock down or quality control tests.
- Remember which content experts to call to deal with different production problems such as instrumentation malfunctions.
- Remember production observations or changes to record the information afterwards.
- Reference manufacturing publications, industry websites and textbooks to locate information for specific production methods. (2)
- Talk with managers and plant technicians to find out how they investigated or dealt with similar production occurrences, and review production reports and maintenance histories to set up machines. They use the information to help them create testing plans for trial tests. (3)
- Draw on information from acts, standards and regulations, and professional resource materials when developing or modifying policies and procedures relating to safety, production and quality control to ensure they meet legislated requirements. (3)
- Use graphics software. For example, they prepare visual presentations that integrate text and drawings. A general understanding of importing and formatting is required to set up the presentations. (2)
- Use Internet. For example, they locate and download information from manufacturing and government websites, and use the intranet to access company policies and bulletins. They post, upload and download FTP files. (2)
- Use word processing. For example, they write reports and procedures , which require advance desktop publishing. They format text, lay out pages and import design elements from other programs. (3)
- Use database software. For example, they use databases for information management and modify existing databases to gather additional data to track quality control and production tests over time. (3)
- Use spreadsheet software. For example, they insert formulae and other features to track and monitor production statistics, budgets and production sequences. (3)
- Use computer-assisted design, manufacturing and machining. For example, they use CAD programs to create scaled drawings of parts, tools, machines, systems and plant layouts. They use computer-assisted manufacturing features to create tooling sequences and adjust automated control points for production specifications. (3)
- Use communication software. For example, they send e-mail with attachments to group members and maintain address books and distribution lists. They also use the day planner and reminder alarm features. (3)
Other Essential Skills:
Working with Others
Industrial engineering manufacturing technologists and technicians are members of production teams. However, in performing their tasks they often work independently reviewing production processes. They spend part of their time working with team members such as engineers, production operators and quality control staff designing layouts, completing inspections, observing production processes and developing recommendations.
When working on larger equipment or complicated productions, they work with team members or helpers to resolve operational problems and brainstorm solutions. Interaction and coordination with others is necessary for developing product designs and production layout and to carry out trial test runs. They are responsible for providing technical support to equipment operators and other staff involved in production processes. (3)
Industrial engineering and manufacturing technicians are required to maintain current certifications. They attend required training and retraining offered by their employer and regulatory bodies. Training includes Emergency Medical Response (EMR) sessions, Workplace Hazardous Material Information System (WHMIS) and International Standards Organization (ISO). They may attend manufacturers' equipment and product seminars to stay current on product development. In addition, they may attend courses offered through professional organizations and colleges to increase their knowledge, and to obtain recognized certificates and diplomas. They are expected to learn and continually update their knowledge of regulations and codes. They learn continually on the job through meetings, working with others and reading work-related publications such as trade magazines and association newsletters, magazines and manufacturing and process technology reports and articles. (3)