Industrial and manufacturing production, as major indicators of the national economy’s health, are closely monitored. According to France’s national statistics institute (INSEE), last August, industrial production had increased by 2.1%, just like manufacturing production (+2.2%). Such encouraging figures are due to the following sectors: capital goods (+7.4%), textile/clothing/leather/shoes (+10.6%) and automotive (+7.7%). The pharmaceutical sector (-3,1%) and metal industry (-1,7%) however, suffered a setback. The production and manufacturing industry is undergoing a transition marked by machine automation, especially in the large-scale chemical industry where the most tedious tasks have disappeared and are now monitored from a control room.
The production engineer is one of the key positions sought after in the industry. This function often requires process expertise (continuous flow process, mass production, batch production). The production engineer is in charge of ensuring product manufacturing while meeting cost, quality and time requirements.
Candidates must have a masters’ degree in Engineering and show high technical skills (in mechanics, automation, electronics, industrial computing) without losing sight of quality, health and security management. The management aspect is crucial (planning, management control, budget management, performance indicators monitoring).
Production engineers are increasingly required to show experience in continuous improvement (5S, SMED, TPM, Lean Manufacturing) in order to optimize flow and therefore productivity. However, the main challenge often remains the ability to lead people, by bringing new methods to the table with confidence and making sure that they are fully integrated by the staff. Such competence often makes a huge difference.