Manufacturing systems engineers’ responsibilities stretch across the total production cycle, from design and development to marketing and business development. Planning, budgeting and resource allocation are also part of the role.
If you enter this profession, you’ll be responsible for the design, installation and maintenance of the plant’s various pieces of equipment and manufacturing systems. Furthermore, you’ll be planning production targets, controlling costs and managing the allocation of resources.
Your job will also involve liaising with personnel from other functions and units within the organization, ensuring adherence to internal and external requirements with regards to quality control and health and safety.
You may also be in charge of other tasks which revolve around monitoring systems and machinery used in automated production, such as investigating incidents, breakdowns and delays in the manufacturing system.
Employers of Manufacturing Systems Engineers
- Food and drink companies
- Consumer goods manufacturers
- Printing and packaging companies
- Electronic goods assembly companies
- The automotive industry
- designing the layout of the plant using computer-aided design/manufacturing (CAD/CAM) software to build 3D models
- designing, developing and installing plant control systems
- liaising with designers, researchers and engineering consultants
- attending production meetings and forecasting production requirements
- calculating production costs that include equipment, time and labour
- deciding on the effective use of resources, e.g. raw materials, equipment and staff
- producing maintenance schedules
- testing systems are working correctly and identifying, investigating and repairing any system faults
- discussing and evaluating systems failures with plant managers and non-technical personnel
- supervising the work of manufacturing engineers, trainee engineers and support staff
- overseeing the installation, repair and re-assembly of equipment
- demonstrating new and existing equipment to systems engineers, support staff and production managers
- investigating environmental hazards as well as conducting safety tests and removing potential hazards
- meeting with managers to discuss methods of improving the productivity of existing systems, taking into consideration the use of the latest technology
- sourcing new suppliers of industrial equipment
- testing, monitoring and evaluating new mechanical equipment
- establishing and implementing a quality culture within the manufacturing environment
- visiting other production sites.
To get into manufacturing systems engineering you will usually be required to have a degree. Relevant subjects include engineering and physical, mathematical or applied sciences.
The following subjects in particular may be helpful:
- computer aided or computer systems engineering
- electrical or electronic engineering
- mechanical and/or manufacturing engineering
- mechanical design engineering
- production and manufacturing engineering.
It is possible to enter the career as a trainee with a diploma or foundation degree. Relevant subjects include engineering and mechanical engineering.
- technical ability, including strong science, maths and IT skills
- a practical and logical approach to problem-solving
- interpersonal, presentation and communication skills
- team-working skills
- self-motivation and the ability to motivate others
- a flexible and adaptable approach to work
- the ability to work well under pressure and take on new challenges
- the determination to overcome problems
- organization and time management skills
- project management skills and the ability to work to tight project deadlines
- an awareness of health and safety issues.