A quality engineer and an industrial engineer are not the same things. Quality engineers ensure that a product is manufactured to meet specific quality standards, while industrial engineers design products or processes for manufacturing.
Although many people may think that industrial engineers and quality engineers are the same, they are very different.
Industrial engineering is a broad discipline that focuses on improving efficiency within an organization. It’s about maximizing output with limited resources (material, labor, energy).
Quality control and quality assurance. Engineers use testing and inspection procedures to ensure finished products meet standards and conform to established safety and operational standards.
Quality engineering degrees focus on providing products that meet high-level specifications of customer needs while ensuring the process is safe and efficient.
An industrial engineering degree prepares you for careers in manufacturing. In contrast, a quality engineering degree is designed for jobs in service industries like health care or education.
Industrial engineers specialize in designing production systems to operate with little human intervention to achieve maximum efficiency with minimal waste.
Industrial engineers also work in various industries, including manufacturing, transportation, healthcare, and the public sector.
To become a certified industrial engineer (which requires engineering college courses), professionals must pass a comprehensive exam that tests their knowledge of industry engineering practices.
A quality engineer needs only a bachelor’s degree to join most fields of quality control.
On the other hand, most employers prefer to hire applicants who have professional certification from the American Society for Quality Control Engineering.
Quality engineers spend their time developing standardized processes for product inspections, testing, and analysis to verify that they meet the company’s or client’s criteria.
They also improve quality through design improvements so that fewer problems arise during the manufacturing or production stages.
Industrial engineers work in manufacturing, transportation, distribution, healthcare/pharmaceuticals, and other industries that run large operations on assembly lines.
The main jobs of these professionals include improving productivity by streamlining processes to maximize output while minimizing waste.
With an industrial engineering degree, what can you do?
Industrial engineers design and improve the mechanical systems of manufacturing plants. They use their skills to maintain and redesign production lines, ensure materials are properly processed and used efficiently, and develop ways to store machinery for future use.
Most of the work is performed at a computer terminal, where engineers monitor data and test equipment.
Industrial engineers can also help companies locate resources to meet new demands or retrofit existing locations to improve efficiency.
They work in a ample areas, such as:
• Purchasing and logistics. Engineers manage the purchase and distribution of materials.
They may decide which suppliers to use and select vendors based on their experience and knowledge of manufacturing processes.
• Production management. Industrial engineers ensure that supplies are delivered accurately, safely, and on time. They also look into ways to minimize waste through product design or process reengineering.
• Operations analysis. Engineers apply advanced systems analysis and modeling techniques to predict potential outcomes of design changes, technological innovations, and business decisions.
• Process Improvement. Engineers use their engineering expertise to identify the best way for manufacturing equipment to function.
They may also train employees on proper usage and recommend equipment updates or upgrades based on their results.
• Advanced manufacturing engineering. These engineers are responsible for designing advanced manufacturing equipment, such as intelligent parts. They may be responsible for developing new production strategies or assessing existing ones before making changes.
• Reliability engineering. Engineers find ways to minimize breakdowns of production equipment and make the process more efficient.
For example, they may use troubleshooting methods to locate and repair faulty components and recommend preventing breakdowns altogether.
• Energy conservation. These engineers plan and manage energy usage in manufacturing facilities and estimate further modifications to reduce expenses for energy bills and environmental regulations.
• Materials management. These engineers use resources such as available raw materials, machinery, and equipment to manage the disposition of waste and improve efficiency.
• Integration and systems engineering.
Engineers integrate manufacturing into a more extensive system to obtain more significant benefits than each part could alone. For example, they may look into ways to get large quantities of materials or perform tasks more efficiently by linking multiple manufacturing sites.
• Operations and supply chain management. These engineers manage all aspects of operations and design systems and processes to deliver and receive material and supplies more effectively.
• Logistics management. These engineers review inventory levels, delivery times, labor use, and other factors to help businesses minimize costs of goods sold without negatively affecting their profit margins.
•Program management. When cost overruns or poor planning cause projects to stall, these engineers devise alternate solutions to get the project on track or limit its scope to stay within budget.
Most industrial engineers work at manufacturing companies, research laboratories of private businesses, government agencies, the military, or universities.
A bachelor’s degree can prepare them for entry-level positions as industrial engineering technicians.
For jobs at the highest level of leadership, professionals may need a master’s degree in industrial engineering or an MBA specializing in operations management.
• Many new graduates begin their careers as industrial engineers without an advanced degree. They work under the guidance of senior engineers and managers to gain experience on the job.
•Starting salary for recent bachelor’s degree grads typically ranges from $50,000 to $70,000 per year.
• Salaries increase to about $70,000 to $90,000 for industrial engineers in the middle of their careers.
• The median salary for industrial engineers with 10 or more years of experience is approximately $87,000.
Industrial engineers may be eligible for several certifications that can help them advance their careers. These include:
• Certified Preventive Maintenance Technician (CPMT). Certified Preventive Maintenance Technicians (CPMTs) provide customers with solutions to improve production efficiency and reduce downtime caused by broken equipment.
• Certified Quality Engineer (CQE). CQEs design and implement quality control systems in their companies to ensure merchandise meets standards. A CQE may also help businesses reduce costs by monitoring production while minimizing the waste of resources.
• Certified Advanced Manufacturing Engineer (CAAME). This specialized certification prepares industrial engineers for positions involving advanced manufacturing equipment.
• Certified Production Manager (CPM). CPMs plan, organize and direct the production of merchandise.
They must learn how to work effectively with supervisors, engineers, consultants, and other employees to ensure successful projects.
• Industrial engineering is a global industry, with over two million professionals in the United States alone.
• About 1% of U.S. engineers are industrial engineers.
• About 50,000 new industrial engineering job positions will be added to the U.S. economy every year through to accommodate the rising demand for this field.
Industrial engineering is the discipline that applies engineering principles to manufacturing and other processes where efficiency plays a critical role in maintaining or increasing profitability.
Industrial engineers must use engineering principles such as design thinking and design for manufacturing.
Industrial engineers can specialize in a wide variety of industrial engineering careers, including:
• Product development. Engineers test ideas for new products and materials during the product development process.
They may lead teams to develop new products based on concepts, specifications, and market trends.
• Process control and support. These engineers apply industrial engineering principles to production systems or machinery that cannot easily be modified or repaired by non-engineers.
In conclusion, Industrial engineers and Quality engineering blend the two areas of expertise to create a better product and fulfill customer demands.
Quality engineering has been established as a profession in its own right since the end of the Second World War when it moved from being an implicit part of production engineering into a separate area in its own right.
Industrial engineers have been trained in quality processes for many years. Their use of statistical analytical methods is well known to most practicing engineers.
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