The Art of Manufacturing Ch1 Draft 8-23-18


The Art of Manufacturing

It Can Be a Winding Path from Art to Part

Depending on your role in a manufacturing company you will have a different

perspective on what is important. Accountants and book keepers are often blamed

for only caring about the number of beans on hand, The CEOs executive assistant

might mainly care about getting the absent minded visionary to show up at her

appointments with the information she needs, and the recent college grad

assembling hamburgers may only care about how long it is until his next break.

For the next few pages we will wear the hat of the manufacturing engineer. This is

the person, regardless of job title, who figures out how to make the stuff the

customers want. They are not typically responsible for deciding what the customer

wants, that is the role of the designer. The designer decides how satisfy the

customers’ needs and represents that design with drawings, sketches, solid models,

and specifications, we will call this the Art. The designer then passes the art off to

the manufacturing engineer who has to figure out how to make the parts in a way

that meets the design specifications in and at a cost that allows the company to sell

the parts to the customers at a profit.

This process of gong form art to part has many steps and can be confusing to the

uninitiated but when it is boiled down to nuts and bolts it is really simple.

The Art

The art that we talk about when we look taking our concepts from art to part is the

design. It includes:


solid models, and


The art must contain enough information so that the manufacturer can make parts

that satisfy the needs of the customer. The process of developing the art involves

understanding these Customer Needs, CNs, and transforming them into a set of

Functional Requirements, FRs, which are then met with Specific Design Parameters,

DPs, represented by the drawings, solid models, and specifications.

This step of understanding the CNs and forming FRs is critical and often overlooked

because as engineers we tend to be introverts who are often kept away from the

company’s customers.

There is a fabulous scene in the movie “Office Space” where the character Tom,

who is about to be laid off, shouts at the consultants, Bob and Bob.

He says

Copyright Engineering Media Productions 2018 14

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