Individuals and companies who have never worked with a process engineer before may erroneously assume that process engineers deal only in theoretical work with no concrete application to industrial and commercial operations. Nothing could be further from the truth. Process engineers are highly trained experts capable of applying their expertise to an array of different industries and business models and improving the efficiency and profitability of those companies. Consider the following 12 things you may not have known a process engineer can do.
Increase Product Output – For any industrial or manufacturing company a major area of concern will be product output. A key way to increase profitability is to increase product output without also increasing costs. Process engineers are able to examine the manufacturing or assembly processes and make suggestions that will improve product output.
Debottleneck Operations – Often a facility or factory will know exactly why their product output is limited because they have a major, noticeable bottleneck. Everything may flow smoothly until it reaches a certain critical point, and then pick up speed again after it clears that point, but as long as this key area is squeezing down operations overall output will suffer. Process engineers are experts at debottlenecking operations.
Fix Product Defects – It could be that there is no bottleneck and nothing wrong with overall output, but that there is a consistent or occasional defect in the finished product. Such defects, if left unaddressed, can cost a company its reputation, customers, and ultimately even its viability as a business. Process engineers can address the underlying problem and help resolve product defects.
Enhance Overall Product Quality – By contrast the product may not have any particular defects per se; however, by improving the overall product quality the company can often sell the product for a higher cost or gain a competitive edge in the industry. Product engineers can analyze the production systems, components parts and equipment, and raw materials and make suggestions on ways to enhance the overall product quality.
Assist with Targeted Improvements – Making a major upgrade, replacement, or improvement in an industrial of commercial facility is a very important undertaking. Process engineers are able to assist with such improvements by making suggestions about which areas to improve to maximize return.
Reduce Labor Costs – Labor is a major expenditure for many industrial and commercial companies. Process engineers are able to reduce labor costs by analyzing operations and pointing out ways to work more efficiently. In essence this means working smarter, not harder.
Improve Company Efficiency – Often a company can benefit from a process engineer’s expertise in a full range of areas from ordering, receiving, and storing raw materials, production and output, labor, and even shipping and delivery of the end product. Process engineers are able to improve efficiency companywide.
Conserve Energy – Conserving energy isn’t just good for the planet, it’s also good for the bottom line. Process engineers are able to pinpoint changes both big and small that in many cases can add up to a dramatically lowered energy usage.
Better Utilize Resources – Most industrial processes and manufacturing operations have at least some waste. However, to keep costs in check it is imperative that this waste be minimized as much as possible. Process engineers can show companies how to do precisely that.
Develop New Systems – In some cases it will be necessary to completely overhaul an existing system or to develop a brand new system to meet a new need or niche. Process engineers are experts at systems design and can offer invaluable input and tips about these new systems.
Bolster Consistency – For any type of planning and production estimates consistency is key. It is crucial that the facility be able to deliver consistent results that can be counted on. Process engineers help improve consistency by offering process control solutions and spotting areas where consistency is weak.
Facilitate Meeting Deadlines – Some companies must work according to tight deadlines to get their products and shipments out. Often missing even one deadline can dramatically impact a company’s quarterly sales or adversely affect industry perception. Process engineers help companies meet their deadlines by applying the above fixes and many more.
First and foremost process engineers are problem solvers. They work closely with companies and key personnel to address whatever particular issue is of concern at the client company. Polaris is dedicated to process engineering and pleased to offer these services to our clients.