The engineering and construction industry plays an integral role in building the future of the modern world amidst a number of potential obstacles such as material price volatility, talent shortages, and the rapid pace of technological change. Michelle Meisels of Deloitte Consulting LLP writes on their company website: “As we move into the final year of a decade that has seen its share of peaks and valleys, there is no doubt that our industry is an active participant in building the future of the modern world. Overall growth in 2018 for the US engineering and construction industry is projected to be around 5 percent and is likely to accelerate further going into 2019.1 Mergers and acquisitions are positioned for a strong 2019, following an active year, which to date has seen 344 deals with a total value of more than $20 billion.2 Driving this activity are the proliferation of mega projects infused with advanced technologies, a focus on smart cities, and the promises of a data-driven world.
The engineering and construction industry is facing considerable hurdles—finding and retaining talent, responding to material price volatility due to tariffs and other trade-related headwinds, and absorbing the rapid pace of technology development pervading our personal and business lives. However, there is reason to be optimistic. Digital is transforming the industry itself and helping us imagine, create, and build the spaces, structures, and cities of tomorrow. Engineering, design, and construction firms have a unique opportunity to leave a mark on the smart cities of the future, using advanced technologies to design and build them today. These same technologies hold the promise to help firms achieve operational efficiencies, thereby reducing costs while improving margins. Those firms that embrace the projects of tomorrow and invest in digital transformation are expected to be the winners here.”
Industrial engineering is a branch of engineering dealing with the optimization of complex processes or systems. It is concerned with the development, improvement, implementation and evaluation of integrated systems of people, money, knowledge, information, equipment, energy, materials, analysis and synthesis, as well as the mathematical, physical and social sciences together with the principles and methods of engineering design to specify, predict, and evaluate the results to be obtained from such systems or processes. Its underlying concepts overlap considerably with certain business-oriented disciplines such as operations management.
Depending on the subspecialties involved, industrial engineering may also be known as, or overlap with, operations management, management science, operations research, systems engineering, manufacturing engineering, ergonomics or human factors engineering, safety engineering, or others, depending on the viewpoint or motives of the user. For example, in health care, the engineers known as health management engineers or health systems engineers are, in essence, industrial engineers by another name.
Efforts to apply science to the design of processes and of production systems were made by many people in the 18th and 19th centuries. They took some time to evolve and to be synthesized into disciplines that we would label with names such as industrial engineering, production engineering, or systems engineering. For example, precursors to industrial engineering included some aspects of military science; the quest to develop manufacturing using interchangeable parts; the development of the armory system of manufacturing; the work of Henri Fayol and colleagues (which grew into a larger movement called Fayolism); and the work of Frederick Winslow Taylor and colleagues (which grew into a larger movement called scientific management). In the late 19th century, such efforts began to inform consultancy and higher education. The idea of consulting with experts about process engineering naturally evolved into the idea of teaching the concepts as curriculum.
Comprehensive quality management system (TQM) developed in the forties was gaining momentum after World War II and was part of the recovery of Japan after the war.
While the term originally applied to manufacturing, the use of “industrial” in “industrial engineering” can be somewhat misleading, since it has grown to encompass any methodical or quantitative approach to optimizing how a process, system, or organization operates. Some engineering universities and educational agencies around the world have changed the term “industrial” to broader terms such as “production” or “systems”, leading to the typical extensions noted above. In fact, the primary U.S. professional organization for Industrial Engineers, the Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE) has been considering changing its name to something broader (such as the Institute of Industrial & Systems Engineers), although the latest vote among membership deemed this unnecessary for the time being.
The various topics concerning industrial engineers include management science, work-study, financial engineering, engineering management, supply chain management, process engineering, operations research, systems engineering, ergonomics / safety engineering, cost and value engineering, quality engineering, facilities planning, and the engineering design process. Traditionally, a major aspect of industrial engineering was planning the layouts of factories and designing assembly lines and other manufacturing paradigms. And now, in so-called lean manufacturing systems, industrial engineers work to eliminate wastes of time, money, materials, energy, and other resources.
Examples of where industrial engineering might be used include flow process charting, process mapping, designing an assembly workstation, strategizing for various operational logistics, consulting as an efficiency expert, developing a new financial algorithm or loan system for a bank, streamlining operation and emergency room location or usage in a hospital, planning complex distribution schemes for materials or products (referred to as Supply Chain Management), and shortening lines (or queues) at a bank, hospital, or a theme park.
Modern Industrial Engineers typically use Predetermined motion time system, computer simulation (especially discrete event simulation), along with extensive mathematical tools and modeling and computational methods for system analysis, evaluation, and optimization.
The year 2019 is going to be more about the evolution of the existing technologies than about innovation. For years now we have been talking about all what is going to happen in 2020. Now, less than a year away, we can say that the future is here to stay.
The rise of disruptive technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Additive Manufacturing (AM) –also called 3D-printing– are set to dominate the industry in the upcoming months.
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Sources: www2.deloitte.com , interestingengineering.com , www.ibisworld.com , www.grandviewresearch.com
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Industrial engineering courses were taught by multiple universities in Europe at the end of the 19th century, including in Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and Spain. In the United States, the first department of industrial and manufacturing engineering was established in 1909 at the Pennsylvania State University. The first doctoral degree in industrial engineering was awarded in the 1930s by Cornell University.
In general it can be said that the foundations of industrial engineering as it looks today, began to be built in the twentieth century. The first half of the century was characterized by an emphasis on increasing efficiency and reducing industrial organizations their costs.
In 1909, Frederick Taylor published his theory of scientific management, which included accurate analysis of human labor, systematic definition of methods, tools and training for employees. Taylor dealt in time using timers, set standard times and managed to increase productivity while reducing labor costs and increasing the wages and salaries of the employees.
In 1912 Henry Laurence Gantt developed the Gantt chart which outlines actions the organization along with their relationships. This chart opens later form familiar to us today by Wallace Clark.
Assembly lines: moving car factory of Henry Ford (1913) accounted for a significant leap forward in the field. Ford reduced the assembly time of a car more than 700 hours to 1.5 hours. In addition, he was a pioneer of the economy of the capitalist welfare ("welfare capitalism") and the flag of providing financial incentives for employees to increase productivity.
Rapid change is going to characterize the technological trends impacting engineering and manufacturing in 2019. At the same time, the industry is going to see a continuous effort and challenge to meet the sector's skills shortage.
In order to face change, engineers must upgrade their existing skills and learn some other new ones that will help them collaborate with the new technologies that engineers are going to adopt in their job.
Engineers must be at the forefront of innovation and emerging technologies as well as the new technologies that have become important tools for engineers and designers.
Automation, M2M (Machine-to-Machine), and H2M (Human-to-Machine)
Automation in the Fourth Industrial Revolution is going to take the central stage in smart manufacturing and digital transformation. In order to remain relevant, manufacturers need to embrace change, automation, and offer training to their traditional workforce in order to fill the skills gap existing today.
A recent report found that in the next three years automation is going to take over manufacturing. IoT and AI are going to make manufacturing more agile and smarter. Engineers are going to be tasked to supervise the machines with the help of smart devices.
Traditional workforces are going to see change due to automation, yet they need to develop skills to execute the digital transformation that automation brings to the manufacturing sector. Forward thinking leadershipis going to be in high demand in this sector with humans driving the change that it is needed for success.
Human-to-Machine (H2M) is the emerging collaboration between humans and machines.
In 1960 to 1975, with the development of decision support systems in supply such as the MRP, you can emphasize the timing issue (inventory, production, compounding, transportation, etc.) of industrial organization. Israeli scientist Dr. Jacob Rubinovitz installed the CMMS program developed in IAI and Control-Data (Israel) in 1976 in South Africa and worldwide.
In the seventies, with the penetration of Japanese management theories such as Kaizen and Kanban West, was transferred to highlight issues of quality, delivery time, and flexibility.
In the nineties, following the global industry globalization process, the emphasis was on supply chain management, and customer-oriented business process design. Theory of Constraints developed by an Israeli scientist Eliyahu M. Goldratt (1985) is also a significant milestone in the field.
Smart city planning and design
In 2019, Smart City design is going to take a longer view into the future. The first step into building toward the future is through building a smart infrastructure that can support all Smart City applications today and tomorrow.
Otherwise, the city has to dig up the same streets over and over every year in order to add infrastructure for the new applications. This represents an unnecessary waste of resources, time, and tax money.
Doing things in the right way from the beginning is the smart thing to do, so existing applications such as surveillance cameras (CCTV), traffic sensors, smart lighting, smart parking, and others can be easily updated at the same time others are incorporated into the infrastructure.
Smart city planning and design is a space engineers much watch closely this year.
Industry 4.0: The Fourth Industrial Revolution
The rise of the factory of the future with more automation and robotics incorporated to the manufacturing process brings an integrated systems approach. Factory automation opens exciting possibilities as well as challenges in the industrial environment.
"Technological revolution ... that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres." - Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder of the World Economic Forum and author of The Fourth Industrial Revolution
The Fourth Industrial Revolution, a term coined by Professor Klaus Schwab and introduced in Davos, Switzerland at the World Economic Forum in 2016, brings digital, physical, and biological systems together.
Some believe that new and emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) will eleiminate some jobs. Yet, AI is going to create a huge demand for new skills that many engineers don't have today.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is going to bring all sorts of change at a speed, scale, and force unlike anything you have seen before. Preparedness becomes crucial.
5G connectivity is going to make possible the Vision 2020 we have been talking about for the past years.
Engineers have to keep an eye on 5G network developments and 5G adoption around the wrold. 5G connectivity is what is going to power everything that the different engineering branches are going to be working with starting in 2019 and onward.
From the manufacturing assembly line to how to illuminate smart cities to city infrastructure and machine-to-machine (M2M) connectivity, the 5G network is going to change the way we work, live, and interact with people, cities, and machines.
Internet of Things (IoT) sensors
By 2009, we had already been talking about the Internet of Things (IoT) for at least a few years. It took well over 10 years for the IoT to reach today's maturity.
Before, it was not possible to connect everything to the Internet because the networks were not ready. Now, thanks to 5G connectivity all the technologies that depend on it are going to advance at a much faster speed.
According to analyst firm Gartner, 20.4 billion connected things are going to be in use worldwide by 2020.
The Internet of Things (IoT), sometimes referred to as the Internet of Everything (IoE), demands fast communication between sensors in order to work properly. Industrial engineers, for example must also watch closely the security of manufacturing applications such as sensors that monitor constantly the status of the assembly line.
This means that no matter the field, every engineer needs to watch for security alerts. But we are going to discuss this in more detail later.
All in all, engineering for IoT is one of the trends all engineers must definitely watch in 2019.
Engineering design with AR, VR, and MR
The adoption of Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Mixed Reality (MR) technologies in the manufacturing sector is closing the gap between the digital and the real world.
Automotive engineering designers are going to experience a positive boost thanks to the help of new advances in AR, AR, and MR and more practical applications of the R+ technology (AR, AR, MR) powered by 5G.
This means that engineers are going to work with more powerful tools assisting them in their job. In 2019, Augmented Reality is going to grow exponentially and is going to help engineering designers and many others work and collaborate across multiple geographies.
Cybersecurity engineering and risk management
Last but not least, one of the most important spaces security engineers must watch this year --if not the most important-- is advancements in cybersecurity research and how to stay ahead of the game before vulnerabilities turn into serious breaches.
Ensuring that networks and security systems are updated has to always be a priority. Designing systems to deal with disruptions such as natural disasters or malicious cyber attacks must be done with vision into the future and updated often.
Cybersecurity engineers must be alert and carry out frequent threat analysis and risk assessment at an early stage during product development ensuring that security is a strong feature of every product and device.
With the global broad adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT) taking a front seat this year, analysts have anticipated that IoT is going to create new security risks for enterprises and also for consumers. By using tools such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) enterprises can sooner predict and protect from cyber attacks.
Government emerged as the dominant segment on the basis of customer and accounted for a 41.6% share in 2017 owing to various favorable policies and frameworks. Need for rapid industrialization to meet needs of ever-increasing population is likely to drive the segment to reach USD 5.01 trillion by 2025 at a CAGR of 5.5% over the forecast period. Governments around the world have also been making largescale investments to improve infrastructure in their respective countries and provide affordable housing to the population.
The private sector is poised to witness the fastest growth over the forecast period, fueled by availability of large funds. On an individual level, rise in consumer disposable income and increased spending on households will drive this segment.
Asia Pacific is the largest regional market and is characterized by easy availability of land and skilled labor at low cost. Shift in global production landscape has favored emerging economies, particularly China and India, which is likely to influence market growth over the forecast period.
Most APAC countries are expected to witness high economic growth over the forecast period, despite slow growth in developed regions such as U.S. and Europe. Thriving construction sector is likely to drive the APAC market to register strong growth over the forecast period, exhibiting a CAGR of 5.2%.
Global players dominate the industry and are majorly concentrated in Asia Pacific, North America, and Europe. Key manufacturers contribute over 40.0% to the global market for civil engineering, with a substantial share emerging from China and U.S. Pricing and other strategic project initiatives are highly dependent on top players.
Manufacturers focus on formulating innovative business strategies in order to maintain their position in the market, acquisitions being a vital growth tactic. Companies have been investing heavily in research and development facilit
The value of utilities construction represents total public and private expenditure on the construction of power, sewage or water-supply infrastructure. These developments require a high degree of engineering services to ensure safe and efficient operation. The value of utilities construction is expected to remain mostly static in 2019, posing a potential threat to the industry.
The value of private nonresidential construction includes expenditure on office buildings, hospitals, factories, power plants, communication lines and other structures. These projects are particularly pertinent to the industry, and an increase in private investment causes an uptick in industry revenue. The value of private nonresidential construction is expected to increase in 2019, presenting an opportunity to the industry.