It is very important for mechanical engineers to understand what kinds of mechanical engineering jobs are available in the industry. In this article, we will learn about what jobs are available for mechanical engineers in the industry. As usual, I will explain the jobs available for mechanical engineers focusing on the automobile industry. My focus will be on the manufacturing industry and the engineering service industry.
To understand the jobs available for mechanical engineers in the manufacturing industry, we need to understand the different departments in a car manufacturing company.
Table of Contents
What kinds of departments are there in the car manufacturing company?
The departments in the car manufacturing industry (also known as the automotive industry) are in perfect alignment with how cars are made.
- The Marketing Department is responsible for marketing and market research.
- The Engineering Department is responsible for designing the car.
- The Materials Planning & Logistics Department is responsible for scheduling and forecasting the right volume of materials, goods, and products essential for manufacturing the car.
- The Purchasing Department is responsible for buying the materials, goods, and products as per the schedules and forecasts provided by the materials planning and logistics team.
- The Manufacturing Department is responsible for manufacturing the car.
- The Quality Department is responsible for ensuring the quality of each part, subsystem, and various systems of the car.
- The Technical Documentation Department is responsible for creating technical documents like the owner’s manual, parts catalog, service manual, repair manual, etc.
- The Sales Department will sell the cars through the sales partners.
- And the Service Department will service, repair, and maintain the car in their service centers.
But for the Marketing and Sales Departments, great jobs are available for mechanical engineers in all other departments. Of course, mechanical engineers can also find jobs in the marketing and sales departments, but they are not exclusive to mechanical engineers. So, let’s focus on other departments.
Next, LET’S UNDERSTAND What kinds of jobs are available in the engineering department?
1) What kinds of mechanical engineering jobs are available in the engineering department?
Before we look at what kinds of jobs are available in the engineering department, let’s understand
What is engineering?
Engineering is the application of science and mathematics to design and manufacture products.
For example, a car, an aircraft, etc.
What is Engineering Department?
A team of people responsible for the design of these products.
The Engineering Department of an Automotive Industry
Let’s take an example of the automotive industry to understand the engineering department.
- Requirements: Once the engineering department receives the car characteristics in the requirements specifications document from the market research, they will finalize the concept design. The exterior styling, interior styling, packaging layout, and functional layout are finalized during the concept design. Then the concept is reviewed and finalized.
- Concept Design: Once the concept is finalized, the detailed design of each part, subsystem, and system are completed. The parameters, like the geometry, dimensions, materials, strength, etc., are finalized during the detailed design. Then the detailed design is reviewed and finalized.
- Detailed Design: Once the detailed design is finalized, the manufacturing drawings are created. Manufacturing drawings are then reviewed and finalized.
- Manufacturing Drawings: Then, the manufacturing drawings are sent for approval. Once the manufacturing drawings are approved, they are released for manufacturing.
Please note this process is followed for each part, subsystem, and system. Don’t be under the impression that the entire car is designed and the manufacturing drawings of the whole vehicle are released for manufacturing simultaneously.
Engineering a Car Exterior System
Let’s take an example of car exterior systems. You can see the design process from the concept design to the release of drawings for manufacturing. There is a target date within which the entire design process must be completed, and the drawings must be released for manufacturing.
The parts within the exterior systems, like the door and hood, might start earlier or later, but the design process has to be completed within the target date. So, many parts, subsystems, and systems designs will happen in different timelines. A team of dedicated engineers will monitor the progress and ensure the design is completed as per the schedule.
Let’s summarize the design process by taking a specific example of a car hood.
- Concept Design: The exterior styling is finalized during the concept design. The output from the concept phase will be the class-A surface. The concept is then reviewed and finalized.
- Detailed Design: During the detailed design, the engineers will finalize the geometry, dimensions, materials, strength, etc. In addition, a few CAE analysis is performed, like Crash Simulation, Pedestrian and Occupant Safety, etc. The output from the detailed design phase will be the 3D cad models, CAE models, and CAE reports. The detailed design is then reviewed and finalized.
- Manufacturing Drawings: The 2D manufacturing drawings are created using CAD software. The output from this phase is the 2D manufacturing drawing of the hood. Then the 2D manufacturing drawing is reviewed, approved, and released for manufacturing.
Please Note, If any mistakes or improvements are identified during the review, the design must be corrected, updated, and presented for a re-review.
Now let’s look at the kinds of mechanical engineering jobs in the engineering department.
1a) Styling Engineer
First, we have the styling engineer responsible for developing the concept, including a car’s appearance, aesthetics, ergonomics, etc.
1b) Design Engineer
Then we have the design engineer CAD, responsible for designing parts, subsystems, and car systems using CAD software.
1c) Design Engineer CAE
Then we have the design engineer CAE, responsible for simulating parts, subsystems, and systems of a car using CAE software to ensure strength, durability, etc. the design engineer CAE is also referred to as a simulation engineer or analysis engineer.
1d) Project Engineer
Then we have the project engineer responsible for Co-ordinating and controlling projects from the concept till the launch of a new car. The project engineer should also Ensure Quality, Cost, and Delivery.
2) What mechanical engineering jobs are available in the Materials Planning & Logistics department?
Before we look at what kinds of jobs are available in the Purchasing department, let’s understand
What is Procurement?
Procurement is the process of purchasing.
What is Procurement Department?
The procurement department is a team of people who manage the process of purchasing to meet the goals of a car manufacturing company. Not just car manufacturing companies, every company has a procurement department.
Let’s take an example of the automotive industry. The car manufacturing company does not make all the parts required for the car. Many parts, subsystems, and systems are bought from other specialist companies. For example, seats are bought from a seat manufacturing company, and tires are purchased from a tire manufacturing company.
The car manufacturing company generally manufactures the body and the body panels themselves. For example, the procurement department is responsible for purchasing the raw material to manufacture the car door.
The procurement department purchases goods, materials, commodities, and services. The procurement department should also ensure these things are available at the right price and time, with perfect quality and continuous supply.
Now let’s understand the procurement process.
Let’s take an example of a car company wanting to buy seats for their upcoming new car.
The procurement department will obtain the requirements specifications document from the engineering department. The requirements specifications document outlines the car seat’s functional and technical requirements.
Technical specifications include the seat’s weight, height, width, and depth. An example of the functional requirement is to specify if the car should have a manual adjustment or an electro-mechanical adjustment for adjusting the seat height and longitudinal position. Hundreds of such requirements will be outlined in the requirements specifications document related to dimensions and tolerances, materials, ergonomics, applicable industry standards, testing requirements, etc.
Once the procurement department receives the requirements specifications document, they will identify the supplier companies capable and capable of designing and manufacturing the car seats as per the requirements specifications document. If required, the procurement team will also visit the supplier premises to understand the processes and capabilities of the supplier company as per the requirements.
Then the procurement department will issue an RFQ to the identified supplier companies. RFQ, the “request for a quote,” is an official document the buyer sends to the seller. The supplier companies interested in this order shall respond with a Quote.
Simultaneously the procurement department will also estimate the cost of the car seat.
Then the negotiations will happen between the car manufacturer and the supplier. Once both the car manufacturing company and the supplier agree on the requirements, terms, and conditions, a contract is signed a Purchase Order is released.
The supplier shall design, manufacture, and deliver the car seats to the car manufacturing company as per the purchase order. They will also submit an invoice along with the delivery. An invoice indicates the items delivered and the car manufacturer’s price to pay the supplier.
Then the car manufacturer will inspect if the car seats are delivered as per the purchase order. Once the delivery is satisfactory, the car manufacturer will pay the supplier per the purchase order’s terms and conditions.
I believe you have a fair understanding of the procurement department and process. So now we will look at the jobs available for mechanical engineers in the procurement department.
Three types of mechanical engineering jobs are available in the procurement department.
- Technical production buyer
- Cost estimating engineer
- Supplier development engineer
2a) Technical production buyer
The technical production buyer is responsible for purchasing goods, materials, and commodities for production needs.
2b) Cost estimating engineer
The cost-estimating engineer is responsible for estimating the cost of goods, materials, and commodities.
2c) Supplier development engineer
The Supplier Development Engineer Ensures the processes and capabilities are as per the required standards.
3) What kinds of mechanical engineering jobs are available in the Manufacturing department?
Before we look at what kinds of jobs are available in the Manufacturing department, let’s understand
What is manufacturing?
4) What kinds of mechanical engineering jobs are available in the Quality department?
Before we look at what kinds of jobs are available in the Quality department, let’s understand
What is quality?
5) What kinds of mechanical engineering jobs are available in the Technical Documentation department?
Before we look at what kinds of jobs are available in the Technical Documentation department, let’s understand
What is Technical Documentation?
6) What kinds of mechanical engineering jobs are available in the Service department?
Before we look at what kinds of jobs are available in the Service department, let’s understand
What is Service?
7) What kinds of mechanical engineering jobs are available in the Engineering Services company?
Before we look at what kinds of jobs are available in the Engineering Services Company, let’s understand
What are Engineering Services?
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