Definition of Manufacturing
Manufacturing can be defined as the transformation of raw materials into useful products through the use of the easiest and least-expensive methods. It is not enough, therefore, to process some raw materials and obtain the desired product. It is, in fact, of major importance to achieve that goal through employing the easiest, fastest, and most efficient methods. If less efficient techniques are used, the production cost of the manufactured part will be high, and the part will not be as competitive as similar parts produced by other manufacturers. Also, the production time should be as short as possible to enable capturing a larger market share.
The function of a manufacturing engineer is, therefore, to determine and define the equipment, tools, and processes required to convert the design of the desired product into reality in an efficient manner. In other words, it is the engineer's task to find out the most appropriate, optimal combination of machinery, materials, and methods needed to achieve economical and trouble-free production. Thus, a manufacturing engineer must have a strong background in materials and up-to-date machinery as well as the ability to develop analytical solutions and alternatives for the open-ended problems experienced in manufacturing. This is in addition to having a sound knowledge of the theoretical and practical aspects of the various manufacturing methods.
Relation between Manufacturing and the Standard of Living
The standard of living in any nation is actually reflected in the products and services available to its people. In a nation with a high standard of living, a middle-class family usually owns an automobile, a refrigerator, an electric stove, a dishwasher, a washing machine, a vacuum cleaner, a stereo, and - of course- a television set. Such a family also enjoys health care that involves modern equipment and facilities. As you can easily see, all the above-mentioned goods, appliances, and equipment are actually raw materials that have been converted into manufactured products. Therefore, the more active in manufacturing raw materials the people of a nation are, the more plentiful those goods and services become; as a consequence, the standard of living of the people in that nation attains a high level. On the other hand, nations that have raw materials but do not fully exploit their resources by manufacturing those materials are usually poor and are referred to as "underdeveloped." It is, therefore, the know-how and the capability of converting raw materials into useful products that basically determines the standard of living of a nation and not just the availability of minerals or resources within its territorial land. In fact, many industrial nations, such as Japan and Switzerland, import most of the raw materials which they manufacture and yet still maintain a high standard of living.
Faculty with expertise in Manufacturing
Research projects in Manufacturing
Course offerings in Manufacturing
- Design for Manufacturing
- Principles of Foundry Engineering
- Manufacturing Quality Control
- Computer Aided Manufacturing