The Changing World of the Plant Engineer – Part 1

For those of you who are targeting the plant engineering function, you should read a new study that was just released in April from Plant Engineering magazine called, “The Changing World of the Plant Engineer.” From the study, you’ll gain insight on the changing role of the plant engineer, what they’re thinking about for 2010 and beyond. So next time you’re talking to a plant engineer, think about what’s on his mind.

Part 1 – We’re going to review the highlights of their top 10 biggest job related concerns:

  1. The Economy – No big surprise on this one, but beyond what’s happening in Washington, they are worried about economic factors they have no control over like global competition, currency fluctuation and environmental issues.
  2. Job Security – Will my plant close, will I be asked to retire early, will I get fired. A lot to think about when they’re trying to do their job on a daily basis.
  3. Knowledgeable Employees/Aging Workforce – They’re concerned that most of the experienced workforce will retire in the next 5 years leaving them with less skilled replacements.
  4. Aging Equipment/Facilities – How do they keep the facility running at or above production targets with a reduced workforce and aging equipment that will need more mainteinance.
  5. Safety – Not a priority with upper management. They are more concerned with increased productivity.
  6. Plant Closings – Will their plant survive 3-5 years? Will they lose production to India or China?
  7. Budget – Meeting cost targets in a downturned economy. Where to best spend their limited budgets so they don’t have a major failure.
  8. Doing more with Less – Increased workload, reduced budgets and limited resources on all fronts.
  9. Government/Environmental Regulations – A growing government with more burdensome regulations.
  10. Outsourcing – of jobs overseas and the shrinking importance of manufacturing to our economy.

These are interesting insights as to what’s on their minds. Next up, changes they would make about their manufacturing operation.

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