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The U. S. Manufacturing Engineer: Practice, Profile, and Needs FORREST D. BRUMMETT The future of manufacturing will involve processes, materials, products, industries, and applications of technology that will open new markets and provide new challenges for manufacturing. Yet there is great concern that the United States no longer has the reservoir of expertise in manufacturing to take full advantage of these exciting opportunities and to meet the challenge posed by foreign competitors. Over the last two decades, U. S. manufacturers have been complacent and product quality has suffered. This fact, coupled with the Japanese determination to be a commercial leader based on product quality, began the decline of U.S. dominance in world markets for manufactured goods. Today, U.S. managers are automating manufacturing plants and instituting managerial innovations to survive in international markets. Knowledge of what other countries are doing to prepare for the 1990s and beyond is also cause for serious concern. While many countries appear to have well-defined goals for developing human resources to accomplish needed progress, U.S. industrialists tend to look more at hardware. As a result, U.S. technological superiority may be easily jeopardized simply by not educating enough qualified scientific and engineering professionals to research, design, and pro- duce competitive technology. This paper addresses the need to improve Forrest D. Brummett is chief engineer of Detroit Diesel-Allison, Martinsville, Indiana, and president of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. 21
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22 BRUMME~IT the practice of manufacturing engineering and the quality of U.S. education for manufacturing, since both are important to the national response to changing technology and international competition. THE MANUFACTURING ENGINEERS OF TODAY AND THE FUTURE Manufacturing engineering is that specialty of professional engi- neering able to understand, apply, and control engineering procedures in manufacturing processes. A manufacturing engineer needs the ability to plan manufacturing practices; research and develop tools, processes, machines, and equipment; and integrate the facilities and systems for producing quality products with optimal expenditure. He or-she must understand production, production control, design, facilities planning, plant layout, methods engineering, quality control, work standards, systems engineering, statistical process control, processing, and man- ufacturing engineering management in other words, the whole spec- trum of manufacturing concerns. Based on an education that provides the ability to adapt to changing requirements, both organizational and technological, manufacturing engineers of the future must seek change and be willing to learn throughout their 35- to 45-year working life. Skills of the twenty-first century factory professional must include communication and problem solving, as well as scientific technological grounding and superior personal skills for team problem identification and resolution. Although manufacturing is often regarded as a mature or even declining factor in our society, the profession of manufacturing engi- neering is an emerging discipline that is practiced in different forms, depending upon the manufacturing enterprise. As a result, it still differs from the established engineering disciplines, such as mechanical and electrical engineering, which are defined traditionally in terms of both educational degree and specific expertise. Manufacturing engineering is, in contrast, more defined by function and demands multidisciplinary capabilities in mechanical, materials, industrial, and systems engi- neering. As the basic concepts of technology, applications, and man- agement merge, the discipline of manufacturing engineering becomes better defined. In recent years, this emerging profession has been driven to change by two powerful forces: development of new technologies and a fiercely competitive international marketplace for manufacturers. In addition, practicing manufacturing engineers must increasingly grapple with rising manufacturing costs relative to manufacturing productivity as
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THE U.S. MANUFACTURING ENGINEER ~3 well as societal constraints. These constraints include the supply of motivated manufacturing workers, the need to bring sociotechnical improvements into manufacturing, safety and health protection in the workplace and the product, and prevention of pollution during the manufacturing process. Manufacturing engineers also need to think about and receive training for whole new areas of operation such as manufacturing in space. It is likely that high-value production requiring extreme accuracy and cleanliness can be profitably done in the microgravity vacuum of space in the foreseeable future. Medical manufacturing, also requiring-ex- treme precision and reliability, is becoming a major industry. Medi- cine's replacement catalog alone has grown to include almost 1,300 natural and artificial spare parts. Collaboration among manufacturers, the health care sector, and academia in biomedical engineering probably has great potential. Unfortunately, few educational institutions whether they are col- leges, universities, apprenticeships, or continuing education pro- grams provide the necessary curricula, lab facilities, or qualified faculty to educate students adequately in manufacturing engineering and technology. As a result, most major industries must invest significantly in educational facilities and personnel training to supple- ment the graduate's knowledge. Most industrial training programs require a minimum of two years to produce a quality manufacturing engineer because of the need for additional manufacturing-specific knowledge and skills. In the future, major changes must be made in education and training to prepare those who will be responsible for the direction of manufac- turing. Industry, academia, and government have important roles to play in this effort. Specific recommendations for change must be identified, and a cooperative effort to develop revitalized programs needs to be mounted as soon as possible. THE CHANGING DEMANDS ON MANUFACTURING PERSONNEL In the United States, manufacturing engineers and managers have traditionally come from the ranks of machine operators with significant on-thejob training and experience, but little or no advanced education. These individuals were successful in a labor-intensive manufacturing plant using conventional equipment, much of which is still in our factories. Without the computer, most technical support activities were manual and time-consuming, and most activities such as setting standards; writing process routines; designing tools, gauges, and
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24 BR UMME IT fixtures; production scheduling; and plant layout required many employees skilled in the basics of manufacturing. In the past, university-educated engineers were frequently engaged in mundane tasks routing changes, running prints, filing prints, and basic clerical tasks allowing them little time for utilizing engineering abilities to implement innovative manufacturing concepts. Products were commonly designed by product engineers with little or no counsel from the manufacturing, quality, or technical support groups in the same firm. As a result, many products were needlessly costly to produce and required special equipment to maintain tolerances and surface finishes that did not improve product performance. Communications were difficult in manufacturing plants with multisegregated functions, leading to extreme delays and losses. With little foreign competition and several layers of management in all phases of the manufacturing function, any problem could be resolved by throwing more money or more labor into that particular operation. Competition in the world marketplace has accelerated the imple- mentation of new technologies in American industry and forced changes in manufacturing operations and management (see Table 1~. Products must now be designed both with careful consideration of cost and producibility and with the participation of the entire manufacturing organization. Under the heading of "concurrent engineering," manu- facturing engineers work as a team to coordinate product design between the product engineer and the manufacturing support groups and to evaluate the feasibility and producibility of the product. Once the product has been reviewed and approved by each group, it is released to production. The team approach to solving manufacturing problems and planning manufacturing operations is widespread in industry today. To work well, team members must have well-developed interpersonal skills. The importance of these skills may increase with further integration of manufacturing operations. A manufacturing team will include many different titles, job descrip- tions, and technical backgrounds, depending on the industry. However, three general personnel categories make up most manufacturing teams: production personnel, technical personnel, and managers. Production and technical personnel, designers, and managers are all required to understand the total system. Increased automation will affect manu- facturing personnel at three levels of production: (1) the element level, which involves the process mechanization and the informational component, (2) the cell level, which is composed of a combination of automation elements, and (3) the plant level, which includes multiple
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THE U.S. MANUFACTURING ENGINEER TABLE 1 Preparing for the Factory of the Future 25 Present Organization: Off-line Management Future Organization: Real-time Management Manual Outdated policies, systems, and procedures supplemented by informal organization Divisive Overly divided into work tasks and between functions and layers Disengaging Hierarchical approach which narrows and restricts elective problem solving, causing people to retreat into their own worlds Declarative Top-down commands with little listening or feedback Computer-aided systems CAD, CAM, EMS, text processing, electronic mail, etc., supported by flexible policies, systems, and procedures Integrative Integrating information network relying on some functional expertise, but in a more open and cooperative context Interactive Interaction both internally and externally with vendor base and client system internationally Interrogative Active use of "what if'' scenanos, with heavy graphic support NOTE: CAD computer-a~ded design; CAM~omputer-aided manufacturing; FM0flexible manufacturing systems. SOURCE: Reference 1. cells. Computer-integrated manufacturing ties these levels together with common data bases. Production Personnel On the production floor, line personnel work at either parts making, parts assembly, or inspection and quality control. The assembly line has already been affected by~ automation, as demonstrated by the robotic assembly lines in U.S. auto companies.2 If not involved in assembly, most production personnel perform set- up and monitoring tasks for highly automated material-handling de- vices. These same people will, in turn, provide the support for automated machine tools in a cell or flexible manufacturing system and monitor for problems that cannot be resolved by automation. Such a change in duties means that greater technical skills will be required of the shop floor worker in the factory of the future, when retraining production personnel will be a critical factor for achieving successful factory operations. Retraining must include developing new thinking regarding the integrated work process and transforming the conven
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26 BRUMMEIT tional attitudes deeply embedded in the cultural fabric of both labor and management. An area in which present skills will be relegated to off-line program- ming is inspection and quality control. The "inspector" will simply monitor the output from numerically controlled coordinate measuring machines or some other type of electronically controlled inspection device. For the most part, inspection of fabrication or assembly operations in the factory of the future will take place during the actual fabrication or assembly process. Technical Personnel Technical personnel carry much of the burden for making the factory of the future a reality. The technical category includes engineers and designers, data processors (e.g., programmers/analysts, data base administrators, and systems analysts), scientists, and manufacturing technologists. Engineers from most engineering disciplines especially industrial, mechanical, and electrical-become manufacturing engineers by par- ticipating in production operations. Industrial engineers, with their work in methods improvement, work standards, facilities design, systems analysis, and justification, are natural candidates. Mechanical engineers and electrical engineers also become involved in production processes, automated equipment, testing systems, capacity manage- ment systems, tool/fixture/gauge/machine design, graphics systems, and facilities planning. In the future, a major role for technical personnel, especially data processors and engineers, will be building and maintaining "expert systems" and knowledge bases for artificial intelligence applications. Knowledge bases will consist of the processing logic and techniques necessary to perform functional activities such as detail design, process planning, numerically controlled machine programming, and facilities layout. Knowledge of how to perform each step in the production process, and of how to link these steps so that the planned product emerges, has always been necessary for production. In the factory of today, this knowledge rests in large part in the minds of the workers. In the factory of the future, it will be the task of technical personnel to document this knowledge thoroughly in forms computers can manipulate and transfer to the common information system where anyone may use it. More specifically, they will: · Document manufacturing and engineering processes for appropri- ate computer manipulation;
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TlIE U.S. MANUFACTURING ENGINEER 27 · Assemble necessary data on materials, vendors, products, and production processes (e.g., machining, composites, sheet metal, and assembly); · Encode manufacturing know-how into expert systems; · Conduct research to improve product/process technology; and · Maintain, service, and monitor information systems. Since technical personnel are primarily responsible for providing product definition and planning information, their roles become sig- nificantly more important as the information processing in a factory becomes more unified. Support and production personnel will work directly with information and through automated equipment systems supplied by the designers and engineers. The entire enterprise will be more integrated, allowing less opportunity for the discontinuity, con- fusion, and inefficiency so commonplace in today's factories. In some firms, the computer already links designers and others in the organization. Designers of the future, however, will interact even more closely with other professionals in the organization. For example, designers of today view information on material and process costs, field service requirements, and some customer needs as largely advisory rather than constraining. As with catalog-type information, cost and process data must be developed and stored in a form a designer can retrieve and use if these data are to influence design just as strongly as form, fit, and function constrain it today. Current computer-aided group technology coding and classification systems used for process planning systems are inadequate for this purpose. Because the payoffs for guiding design concepts with early cost information are consider- able, these systems will be improved and their outputs made available to designers. To relate design better to producibility, the designer of the future must be thoroughly familiar with the firm's manufacturing processes. Designers must be prepared to perform stress, thermal, and vibration analyses, which were once the province of engineering analysts. Work methods will also change as computer-aided design systems become more nearly able to replicate the true geometric model of an object. Most current and near-term systems enhance the designer's ability to retrieve, communicate, and analyze information, but the decision making has remained with the designer. Expert systems will enhance this capability. As CAD/CAM (computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing) systems become more prevalent, the designer will carry out most analyses, reserving only exceptional tasks for engineers on the factory Door.
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28 BRUMMEIT Managers Managerial qualities for the factory of the future are essentially the same as those desired today: leadership, integrity, intelligence, fore- sight, flexibility, ability to make decisions, and an open mind. However, some attributes may become increasingly important: · Capacity for strategic thinking and ability to react to major change-economic, political, or social-early enough to benefit the enterprise; · Ability to cope with social forces that require changes not only in business strategy but also in management structure and style; · Ability to cope with internal forces in managing human resources affected by changes in technology and employment; and · Ability to understand government and regulations and capacity to influence government actions. Despite the widespread cry that the economic vitality of the nation depends on restoring and upgrading its manufacturing expertise, U.S. factories are largely managed by those relatively unfamiliar with manufacturing. Senior corporate managers often have degrees in law or business and little grasp of new technologies or methods that can raise productivity and product quality. Even those who are engineering graduates are apt to have been taught little about manufacturing and, for example, problems of CAD/CAM systems. Those who do understand manufacturing processes, tooling, mate- rials handling, and systems the manufacturing engineers-often learned their profession on the factory floor. Manufacturing engineers know how factories are run but, lacking sufficient education in either modern technologies or the business environment, they are ill-prepared for leadership in the factory of the future. Tsurumi argues that too many U.S. managers are technologically illiterates In comparing the top three executives of 25 leading Japanese manufacturers with the top three executives of 20 leading U.S. competitors in such diverse fields as semiconductors, computers, consumer electronics, steel, autos, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, indus- trial equipment, and processed food, he found that two-thirds of the Japanese executives had science or engineering degrees compared with only one-third of the Americans. Furthermore, no Japanese executive without technical training rose through their legal or financial ranks, but over two-thirds of the American executives reached the top through careers as corporate lawyers, accountants, and financial officers. The
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THE U.S. MANUFACTURING ENGINEER 29 Japanese executives with nontechnical backgrounds had experience in domestic and international sales operations, while the American ex- ecutives with nontechnical backgrounds had risen mostly through advertising and corporate planning. The latter is a typical career track for the new brand of American manager with a master's degree in business administration (MBA). Preparation of U.S. executives allows them to remain aloof from the factory floor and the people expert in the day-to-day task of making products. If Americans entering leading business schools are techno- logically "illiterate," the current business school curriculum is likely to distance them farther from engineering and technology and perhaps even increase their disdain for hands-on experience. Once an MBA joins a typical company, opportunities for experience on the factory floor are limited and sometimes discouraged, with the result that many people managing U.S. companies are unfamiliar with crucial parts of the firm's operations. It is thus no surprise that U.S. corporations tend to be drawn to legal or financial solutions rather than technical ones. Middle managers and supervisors make daily operating decisions. The factory of the future will continue to demand both practical technical and social skills on their part, in light of integrated commu- nication networks; a larger cadre of knowledgeable workers and technical specialists; and increased artificial intelligence capabilities, office automation, common data bases, and decision support. Some say that management is basically the same regardless of what is being managed, but this is not true of engineering management. The best-qualified engineering managers are those who combine both technical and management skills, since they must understand and apply engineering principles while they organize projects and direct people. They are uniquely qualified for managing either technical functions in any enterprise or broader functions (such as marketing or top management) in a high-technology enterprise. Unfortunately, many engineers do not realize what an important asset their engineering background is in pursuing a management career. Technical expertise is certainly not all there is to being a manager, but it is a primary requirement in manufacturing. As U.S. industry begins to focus on strategies for developing per- sonnel who can function as part of a manufacturing team, the skills and knowledge crucial for the unique circumstances of the manufactur- ing manager must be identified. These skills should, in part include expe- rience in production, experience in sales, and understanding of the engineering and science base of the product.
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30 DRUMMED SHAPING THE CAREERS OF MANUFACTURING PROFESSIONALS To pursue a productive and enduring career in this era of revolu- tionary industrial change, the manufacturing engineer must be versatile and have knowledge of and experience in the many manufacturing operations. Industry can provide this exposure for recent graduates and other individuals through in-firm work experience programs which place each engineer in a series of diverse assignments over two or three years. Part of this career path plan should be related coursework in computer uses, new technology, maintenance services, and human resource management. After working in manufacturing, however, highly qualified engineers often transfer into nonengineering or nonmanufacturing classifications that offer salary increases or other rewards. Manufacturers must recognize the loss they suffer when an experienced manufacturing engineer leaves the production function because there is no salary or promotion incentive to stay in that classification. Many times an individual would prefer to work in engineering, but he or she has found that moving up the promotional ladder requires a shift to a new type of work or a move into management. The underlying concept of structuring a full career path provides a good example of an alternate way of creating a major resource of competent engineers and managers. Recently, a new professional classification, "advanced manufacturing engineers," has been imple- mented in large companies such as General Electric, General Motors, Ford, and Caterpillar. This classification encompasses major respon- sibilities in research, design, project management, and manufacturing management and can help retain and reward outstanding engineers who might otherwise move into sales, finance, or other service areas. In many companies, the "manufacturing engineer" is replacing the separate classifications of industrial engineer, methods engineer, tool engineer, and process engineer. Interestingly, some of these same companies are asking for new curricula in the universities on manu- facturing systems engineering to develop the skills needed to manage large integrated manufacturing systems. These developments indicate that industry recognizes that the manufacturing engineer of the future will require work experience to understand manufacturing problems and a formal education in theo- retical knowledge. The efforts under way focus on the critical issues in manufacturing operations today: quality, resource management, human resource management, the engineering-manufacturing interface,
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THE U.S. MANUFACTURING ENGINEER 31 managerial leadership, strategic planning, and computer-integrated manufacturing. The use of better information systems can release the manufacturing engineer from more mundane activities and free valuable time for creative activities. They can provide powerful new tools for simulating new methods and concepts of manufacturing. More time and techniques will be available to develop research projects for product design and producibility. Then perhaps for the first time in a long while, manu- facturing managers, even though they may be fewer, will have more time to devote to the human resource management and strategic planning so vital in the competitive marketplace. Having the practicing engineers and trained technicians and tech- nologists who share the core task in manufacturing engineering work closely together is in the best interest of the profession, industry, and our society. In working with the manufacturing engineer, the manu- facturing technologist will be assigned to projects on design, devel- opment, and implementation of engineering plans; drafting and erecting manufacturing engineering equipment; estimating and inspection; main- taining manufacturing machinery or manufacturing services; assisting with research and development; sales and presentation; and servicing and testing of materials and components. To perform these functions, the technologist must have sound knowledge of materials and manufacturing processes. Because formally educated technicians and technologists are certain to increase in numbers and in quality, it is better to ask what expertise is needed and then determine who can best provide that expertise. It is important that manufacturing education at all levels incorporate the social and psychological interests of the individual and group as an integral part of learning. The status and condition of those who will work in manufacturing in the future are of great concern today. Foreign competitors have demonstrated that maintaining the good efforts of the entire manufacturing work force is indispensable to formulating and implementing strategy in the factory of the future. Manufacturing engineers must be aware of the new considerations that are part of the manufacturing revolution and must be prepared to handle the situations that arise. The factory must be reevaluated, recognizing it as a system of people and equipment with opportunities for a variety of interventions that will influence the people much more than equip ment. For example, a factory designer, factory manager, or (more rarely) a production worker can restructure work methods, rearrange tech
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TABLE 4 Accredited Programs in Manufacturing Engineering and Technology for Year Ending September 1984, Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET) Study Area Accredited Programs Engineering Manufacturing engineering Engineering technology Manufacturing engineering technology Manufacturing processes Manufacturing technology Manufacturing engineering technology Master's degree University of Massachusetts (Amherst) Bachelor's degree Boston University (Boston, Mass.) Utah State University (Logan, option in mechanical engineering) Bachelor's degree Arizona State University (Tempe) East Tennessee State University (Johnson City) Milwaukee School of Engineering (Milwaukee, Wis.) Murray State University (Murray, Ky.) New Jersey Institute of Technology (Newark) Oklahoma State University (Stillwater) Pittsburgh State University (Pittsburgh, Pa.) Rochester Institute of Technology (Rochester, N.Y.) University of Nebraska at Omahaa Weber State College (Ogden, Utah) Wichita State University (Wichita, Kans.) California Polytechnic State University (San Luis Obispo, Calif.) Bradley University (Peoria, Ill.) (mechanical design or operations option) Brigham Young University (Provo, Utah) Indiana-Purdue at Fort Wayne (option in mechanical engineering) Memphis State University (Memphis, Tenn.) University of Houston (Houston, Tex.) Associate degree Central Piedmont Community College (Charlotte, N.C.) Forsyth Technical Institute (Winston-Salem, N.C.) Hartford State Technical College (Hartford, Conn.) Ricks College (Rexburg, Idaho) Thames Valley State Technical College (Norwich, Conn.) University of Nebraska at Omahaa Waterbury State Technical College (Waterbury, Conn.) a Both associate and bachelor's degrees are ABET-accredited.
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38 BRUM1VET7 recruiting and hiring, training, additional work done, and release time for permanent employees. To be effective, a program must make the student's work experience an integral part of the firm's work schedule. Cooperative efforts over time have led to programs whose graduates have better academic and professional performance than their "non- co-op" peers. Companies such as IBM and Rockwell International have integrated their well-established co-op programs with their long- term goals to provide a potential work force familiar with corporate goals and philosophy. Many large firms are implementing new cooperative work experience programs in which a few students and faculty members can utilize the firm's CAD/CAM systems for training and development projects. These firms have taken the initiative in opening their doors and becoming an active partner with the educational institutions. Detroit Diesel-Indianapolis, for example, has initiated a program which allows students and faculty to use selected equipment during slack time. Implementation of additional cooperative work experience programs in manufacturing engineering will mean productivity earlier in manu- facturing careers. This will, in the long run, help industry increase productivity and address the problems of applying new technologies. Corporate colleges have been a part of formal education for many years, and are currently institutions of renewed interest.~° During the boom years of the 1920s, the General Motors Institute (GMI) was started in response to the emergence of a new technology and a new product. GMI, which is now sponsored by several corporations, served as a model for many programs which followed World War II, when corporate education again responded to increased diversity and pro- liferation of new products. Corporate and academic educational programs will, to some extent, compete for the potential student population in manufacturing. This will be particularly true for the high-technology fields, where industry should lead in the latest equipment and expertise. Similarly, schools and industry will recruit competitively for qualified manufacturing faculty. Competition may also extend to external funding. Accredited cor- porate colleges are eligible for government funding, and in most cases, these institutions are becoming eligible for funding at a time when state legislatures are not sympathetic to new requests. This is partic- ularly true in the northern industrial states where many corporate educational programs are located. Conversely, public and private colleges are approaching industry for endowment and other financial
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THE U.S. MANUFACTURING ENGINEER 39 support which it may prefer to retain for its own educational and research endeavors. Competition may be mitigated by reexamining the mission of the university: not a "college education" per se, but lifelong learning. In that context, the colleges would be one part of an educational system, including corporations, community groups, professional associations, and libraries. Each organization would benefit from open lines of communication. Continuing Education Continuing education can take many forms. Because it is increasingly important for the manufacturing engineer to be involved in lifelong learning, several options in the form of cooperative programs involving industry, educational and professional organizations, and government need to be available at all levels of career development. Although various forms of corporate educational institutions are growing, the stronger trend is probably toward a working relationship between existing colleges and universities and corporations. One good example of this cooperation is the program developed at Pfizer, Inc. and Marymount Manhattan College, which established a "satellite college" as a part of the corporation's training and development center. The program integrates the liberal arts and the specific job training needed by the company. As a result, a classroom-workplace bond is developed that allows both parties to achieve their continuing education goals. Other companies having similar programs include R. J. Reynolds Industries, Inc., and Tektronix, Inc., which also offer on-site higher education programs. The other types of corporate cooperative efforts with educational institutions may or may not include the granting of degrees. Many colleges and universities are expanding their continuing edu- cation base, which includes working directly with industry in identifying needs and providing quality training. Most courses are flexible, being offered both on campuses and at corporate sites. Although continuing education activities and cooperation have in- creased significantly, there is still a tremendous need for more than can be provided in the next several years. Even so, it is not at all clear that new educational institutions must be developed. Even in manufacturing education, the solution may be to enhance existing institutions. Academic and corporate colleges have, or can assemble,
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40 BRUMMETT the expertise to develop programs for new technology-related jobs. It is important to support the few existing manufacturing-related programs while refocusing manufacturing education on the needs of the future. THE NATIONAL RESPONSE: WHAT IS HAPPENING AND WHAT IS NEEDED Enhancing the quality of our manufacturing education system will require closer collaboration among manufacturing engineering and engineering technology educators, industry, professional organizations, and government. Toward this end, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) has been providing continuing education for engineers in the field since 1932. SME is now sponsoring 30 to 40 major conferences and expositions a year, attracting more than 250,000 attendees. It also sponsors annually more than 300 clinics, seminars, and workshops devoted to single subjects such as lasers, robotics, and machine vision. Finally, SME offers between 30 and 45 in-plant courses each year, and many of its publications are used in the classroom as textbooks and reference books. At the present time, there are few places where college and university faculty can obtain concentrated upgrading in emerging technologies without committing extended periods of time and meeting the associated financial requirements. In early 1985, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers initiated a new continuing education program for those in the field of manufacturing. This new Center for Professional Devel- opment emphasizes manufacturing management and offers training in planning, organizing, and controlling manufacturing systems for au- tomation and integration. Relevant courses for those involved in manufacturing education, taught by leading experts in the field of manufacturing, include classroom instruction with demonstrations, simulations, and hands-on experience with computer hardware and software. In addition, students can visit Detroit-area industrial instal- lations. SME also works closely with the colleges and universities in accreditation activities in which both academic and industry represen- tatives visit campuses for evaluations. Over 125 student chapters on campuses throughout the country are sponsored by the local area senior chapters, providing an opportunity for students and engineers to meet. The SME Manufacturing Engineering Certification Institute certifies two general levels of manufacturing personnel. For certification, a manufacturing technologist takes an exam after four years of experi
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THE U.S. MAIVUFACTURING ENGINEER 41 once, which can be formal education. A certified manufacturing engineer must have 10 years of experience and pass the exam. Both are required to be recertified every three years, which promotes continuous learning. The SME Education Foundation has given over $2 million to colleges and universities during the last five years for equipment, scholarships, curriculum, faculty development, and research initiation. Through its Faculty Travel Fellowship Program, the TRW corporation provides funding through the foundation to defray travel expenses for faculty attending SME continuing education activities. In other cooperative efforts, a number of equipment manufacturers donate equipment, which is distributed through a foundation-administered proposal pro- gram to select recipients. It is in the interest of industry to support graduate study and research in manufacturing, because industry benefits from the resulting increased productivity. Means of support might include, for example, funding for graduate study, stipends for company employees, fellowships, and funding for research through either individual corporations or consortia, with prior agreements to protect proprietary information. Industrial consulting and exchanges of faculty and industrial professionals are also a means of keeping educators apprised of practical industry problems and new technologies. A recent innovation in industry-academia collaboration, developed in Great Britain, is the nationally funded "teaching company." This sometimes takes the form of a partnership between a manufacturing company and a university, in which young graduate engineers work in the company and are supervised jointly by a manager and a member of the engineering faculty. The graduate engineers work individually or in a team on a substantial engineering task agreed upon by the company and the university and aimed at improving the company's manufacturing methods and performance. Faculty become involved in management decisions and contribute to improving industrial practice, while the program educates manufacturing engineers of high quality. The program helps some schools build their strengths in teaching fundamental engineering science while developing a stronger orienta- tion toward engineering practice. Implementation of the teaching company program should be expanded in the United States. In computerized manufacturing technology for a broad range of industries, the example provided by Japan is worthy of study and possibly of emulation. Japan has set up a national program in which work is distributed among universities for basic research in a multitude of small projects (average funding, $30,000 per project); government
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42 BR UMMEIT laboratories for applied research in a variety of medium-sized projects (average funding, $300,000 per project); and industrial companies for development of a limited number of large projects jointly funded by government and industry (average funding, $3 million). Background study, planning, and coordination are accomplished through committees that include members from industry, universities, and government. Organizational and administrative work is performed by appropriate trade associations and professional societies. Govern- ment and industry provide the necessary funding. Another national program recently developed in Japan, "Method- ology for Unmanned Manufacturing," will both study and construct automated and computer-optimized manufacturing plants. An early step in the program is development of a small prototype, scheduled for operation in 1985. The Ministry of International Trade and Industry has contributed $50 million to this effort, testifying to its seriousness. In the United States, establishment of a system of institutes at selected schools with the best productivity-oriented manufacturing engineering capability could be an important vehicle for improving industry-academia collaboration and productivity in manufacturing. Funded by industry and government, a multidisciplinary staff would provide technical assistance to industry on manufacturing methods and productivity. Other nations developing similar cooperative pro- grams are the Federal Republic of Germany, Norway, the German Democratic Republic, Czechoslovakia, and the Soviet Union. Fortunately, in the United States there are signs of improvement in the atmosphere for collaboration. For example, the government has shown a willingness to reform the capital cost recovery accounting system (e.g., accelerated amortization of machine tools), to assist research and development cooperation between academia and industry, and to credit taxes for corporate contributions to U.S. university research. More tax incentives for industry/university cooperatives are needed, however, to provide adequate education for manufacturing professionals. Although schools can obtain assistance through hard- ware donations, industrial assistance in programs which develop people or course materials is much more difficult to obtain. Several universities have launched collaborative programs with industry. In October 1981, Brigham Young University formed an "Alliance with Industry" to speed the development of new computer technology and to increase its rate of adoption by industry. More than 100 industrial representatives from 46 companies have met with the university faculty and administrators to discuss ways in which they could cooperate with Brigham Young in developing CAD/CAM ca
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TlIE U.S. MANUFACTURING ENGINEER 43 pabilities and training personnel to meet industry's needs. Current membership in the alliance includes such leading manufacturing firms as Boeing, General Electric, Exxon, B. F. Goodrich, and GTE. Leading CAD/CAM and equipment supplier members include Applicon, Com- putervision, Calma, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Tektronix, and Digital Equipment Corporation. Membership costs $10,000 per year, or an equivalent grant in equipment. Alliance members benefit by gaining: A larger number of graduates with computer skills; Preferential treatment in recruiting employees through the univer- sity and increased corporate visibility among students; New applications software developed at Brigham Young at no cost; · Assistance in training employees in new techniques; · Close contact with a center of research on new methodologies and applications; and · A ready source of consulting expertise and talent for solving technical problems. Brigham Young benefits from: · Students gaining experience using the latest computer and high- performance graphics equipment; · Students using advanced software tools for class assignments and research projects; · Faculty, in close association with industry, developing research projects on current industrial problems; and · Faculty, with industry support, developing computer-related man- ufacturing curricula to better prepare students for industrial careers. Among the more interesting collaborative initiatives coming from industry are those of IBM, Hewlett-Packard, and Control Data. In September 1982, IBM announced a $50 million grant program, in the form of both cash ($10 million) and equipment ($40 million), to help universities develop and update graduate curricula in manufacturing systems engineering (MSE). The program is designed to enable uni- versities to teach up-to-date and cost-effective design and manufac- turing concepts and techniques that require more attention in engi- neering curricula than they are receiving today. Within two months, over 150 universities submitted preliminary proposals to IBM for MSE curricula, setting forth university qualifi- cations, the proposed program, university resources available to support the program, commitment to a continuing MSE education
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44 BRUMMEIT program, the university's ability to attract students, a timetable for implementation, and any constraints or dependencies for implemen- tation. In addition to the 150 preliminary curriculum proposals, 112 separate proposals were submitted for CAD/CAM equipment, and 20 schools were eventually awarded a total of $40 million in CAD/CAM systems. In mid-December 1982, IBM awarded planning grants to 46 univer- sities to prepare final proposals for an MSE education curriculum grant. Following a comprehensive review, IBM awarded grants of approximately $2 million each to five universities for developing graduate programs: Lehigh University, Georgia Institute of Technol- ogy, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Stanford University, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Two other computer industry giants, the Hewlett-Packard Company (HP) and the Control Data Corporation (CDC), have also established innovative business-university partnerships. HP invested some $20 million in the college system during 1984, making it one of the top five U.S. corporate contributors to education. It supports education in traditional ways by donating new electronic equipment and funding research grants, for example but the company gives more than money; it also gives time. Its engineers teach full time in community colleges or universities for one school year. Loaned employees receive full salaries and benefits from HP, so there is often no cost to the school. In this way, students gain a valuable educational perspective, the school gains an additional faculty member and insights into the current needs of electronics employers, and HP increases its understanding of university capabilities. CDC is developing a different type of program with a consortium of six universities. Dubbed the "Lower Division Engineering Curriculum" or LDEC, the program will be a computer-based curriculum for the first two years of an engineering degree. In particular, the educational language PLATO will be used to allow technicians to tie into the universities via LDEC for basic engineering courses. This program demonstrates CDC's commitment to providing accessible training and development opportunities for employees. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ACTION A major refocus is needed to revitalize this nation's manufacturing systems using cooperative educational efforts. Through some fledgling ventures and emerging cooperative programs between industry, edu- cation, professional societies, and government, the revitalization of
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THE U.S. MANUFACTURING ENGINEER 45 manufacturing engineering is already under way. However, these efforts must be expanded to reach full manufacturing potential and to allow the United States to compete strongly in the international marketplace for manufactured goods. · Increased funding should be provided for studies in manufacturing engineering education to complement funding directed toward manu- facturing research. While manufacturing research is extremely important, education is the base upon which significant research and applications are built. This country's future will depend upon the preparedness of engineers to develop and manage highly technical and highly specialized manufac- turing operations. As technology changes manufacturing, it should also change manufacturing education. Funding studies and experimen- tal programs in manufacturing education could provide the direction and impetus for educational change. · More schools should develop manufacturing options within existing engineering degree programs as well as start new manufacturing . . engmeerlng programs. Engineering faculty shortages, inadequate funding to begin new pro- grams, and the traditional academic departmentalization of engineering disciplines should not prevent the implementation of new manufacturing programs. The "option" within an existing engineering discipline allows students to gain a specialty by taking a core of manufacturing courses drawn from several disciplines, while still obtaining the primary degree. In many cases, therefore, only a few new courses would need to be developed to implement new manufacturing engineering pro- grams. Where feasible, these programs should be implemented as soon as possible. · Industry needs to support more aggressively manufacturing edu- cation in colleges and universities. For most industries it makes little sense to develop training programs that provide basic manufacturing preparation for their engineers. More direct support would allow colleges and universities to continue to do what they do best: educate well-qualified engineers. While financial and equipment assistance is extremely important, joint efforts in curriculum development and faculty upgrading as well as cooperative education programs for students can also provide a more solid foun- dation for developing cooperative education-industry programs.
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46 BRUMMEIT o The skills needed by manufacturing engineers, technologists, and technicians should be defined based on the factory of the future, not on the traditional academic degrees. As disciplines merge and new skills are required, alertness is needed to ensure that personnel are not overutilized or underutilized in their jobs. A continuing analysis of changing roles in the workplace should serve to guide development of educational programs as well as provide reference definitions of job titles. · The undergraduate preparation of engineers must be~broadened to include topics in management, economics, and interpersonal skills. In many cases, knowledge in these areas is weak or absent in engineering graduates. The inverse is true in schools of business and management, where training in technology is generally deficient. · More tax incentive and other programs should be initiated by government for industry-university cooperation. Government must continue to provide tax incentives that allow industry to contribute equipment and facilities to secondary schools and uni- versities for their laboratories. The U.S. government should also examine programs, such as the Japanese basic research projects for educational institutions and industry and the "teaching company" concept in England, that could further enhance transfer of technology nationwide. · Strategic planning is a must for the survival and growth of manufacturing engineering education. The basics of a specific strategy and policy must be formulated so that action plans can be documented and implemented. Manufacturing engineering is a relatively new discipline in the United States. As in any emerging discipline, an extended period of time is required for a new philosophy and the accompanying practical ideas to be widely accepted. This period can be drastically compressed by good planning strategies and fostering of critical growth patterns. NOTES 1. Modern Machine Shop. October 1983. 2. J. Holusha. 1984. New ways at 2 G.M. Plants. New York Times, April 10, D1, D9. 3. Y. Tsurumi. 1983.... And the incompetent Americans U.S. managers are 'technically illiterate' and out of touch. Washington Post, July 31. 4. S. Langer. 1984. Compensation in Manufacturing (Engineers and Managers). Fiftieth edition. Chicago: Abbot, Langer and Associates.
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THE U.S. MANUFACTURING ENGINEER 47 5. S. Langer. 1984. Income in Manufacturing Engineering and Management: An Update. Chicago: Abbot, Langer and Associates. 6. D. P. Gardner, et al. 1983. A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform. An Open Letter to the American People. A Report to the Nation and the Secretary of Education. No. 065-000-00177-2. National Commission on Excellence in Education, U.S. Department of Education. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. 7. T. Husen, et al. 1967. International Study of Achievement in Mathematics, A Comparison of Twelve Countries. 2 volumes. Hamburg, West Germany: Interna- tional Project for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement. 8. Engineering Manpower Commission of the American Association of Engineering Societies. 1983. Engineering and Technology Degrees, 1983, Part I. AAES. 9. Society of Manufacturing Engineers. 1984. Directory of Manufacturing Education Programs in Colleges, Universities, and Technical Institutes, 1984-1985. Dearborn, Mich.: Education Department, SME. 10. N. Eurich. 1985. Corporate Classrooms: The Learning Business. Princeton Uni- versity Press.
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