What is important for an engineering graduate while entering an industry?


Somebody requested me to write on this subject. His question was ‘ Whether knowledge of engineering or marks in an exam are important in industry?’ This is a tricky question as it is having different aspects. Mainly these questions come to an engineering student’s mind when he is struggling with academics or think that whatever I’m learning is having any use or not. This question can be split into the following.

1) Whether marks/percentage/CGPA secured in the exam is important to get a job in the industry?

2) Whether knowledge gained in engineering is having any importance in Industry?

So let us start with first

1) Whether marks/percentage/CGPA secured in the exam is important to get a job in the industry?

Yes. Good marks is an important factor to get a job in an industry. There are various reasons such as the general notion that good academics means a person is capable of a job, segregation of the candidates to reduce time in the selection of candidates.

Today’s generation is called millennials and thought-process of them is a bit different from earlier one. But when you will graduate and go for the interview you will have to face earlier generation sitting in an employer’s position. So obviously this older generation has an impact of academics deeply rooted in their minds. This is a generic situation and there would be an exception to this old thinking. There are people who prefer practical knowledge and hire a candidate even he has poor academics. but the largely conventional academic centric thought process is dominant while selecting freshers for a job in an industry.

You can see many companies coming for campus interviews are asking for good CGPA/marks throughout the academics. they do it for segregation of candidates abut again under influence of academics centric approach. These companies take different tests still they ask for academics. Logically if somebody is fit for a job based on the results of employer-specific tests then why do they need someone’s past academics. Somebody might be poor in academics in his first year of engineering and still can excel in the required exam for selection.

Academics centric selection process is almost everywhere in the industry and you need to face that.

Based on my experience, academics are checked even you have 10-20 years of experience in the industry and those with a good one has added advantage over others if two candidates are at par in professional experience.

Even if you don’t have good academics, practical knowledge can help you succeed in your career. Please go through answer to the next question.

2) Whether knowledge of engineering is having any importance in an industry?

In my earlier blog, I wrote that in most of the job profiles you need 10% of the engineering knowledge. Probably this statement made many guys nervous. But please note that if you want core engineering jobs they are available in the industry. Research and development jobs need 90% -100 % of engineering. I was referring to a general condition in the industry where the % is lower.

Knowledge is important to survive in the industry whether it is used 10% or 90%. If you don’t have good academics but you are good at specific domain knowledge you still can succeed. You might be good at 3D drafting/ Auto CAD/ Fluid Dynamics/ Machine Design etc and still don’t have good marks in Engineering. You may face a problem of acceptance in the industry based on the academics but if you start with small industry and develop yourself then your academics will not be questioned for subsequent jobs because most of the times you are being evaluated on the basis of your experience once you are not fresher in industry.

So yes knowledge has importance in industry and it is very much required to stand out or succeed in your job. You may get a job offer based on your academics but knowledge will help you to survive.

Apart from academics and knowledge, you need to have some key soft skills such as quick learning ability, leading without a title, emotional quotient to excel in whatever you are doing in the industry. Please remember without these skills academics or knowledge has very limited chance to succeed.

Please comment on this blog if you have any specific doubts on this topic.


Do you know what is process planning?

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Very few resources will teach you the practical process planning done in industry. If you are looking for details of what goes inside process planning of typical process then answers are below.

Let us consider that you have to manufacture a cricket bat. This example is taken to understand the basics easily and the same can be applied to any complex product.

Before starting a process planning one important thing which you should ask for is what is the production volume requirement?’ This means in a day/ or a year how many bats are to be manufactured. Let us assume your company produces bats and you need 100000 per year. You need to check the production days in a year leaving aside all the holidays and weekly off. Suppose your company has around 300 working days out of 365 then you will get the per day requirement of 100000 divided by 300 i.e. 333 per day approx.

Once you understood the daily requirement, the next question is what is the production per hour. If you are working in one shift and let us assume you have around 7.5 working hours approx. leaving aside lunch/tea break of a typical 8-hour shift. This will give you per hour requirement. In our case 333 divided by 7.5 ie 44 bats per hour approximately. This is also called as jobs per hour(JPH).

Now you know that you have to produce 44 bats per hour, you can calculate TAKT time.  60 min. divided by 44 gives 1.36 min for one bat. So every 1.36 min. one bat should be produced and 1.36 is called as TAKT TIME.

Suppose typical cricket bat can be manufactured through four processes such as cutting the profile of bat from raw material, shaping to size, polishing, applying stickers and all the processing takes around 30 min. then you will need 30 divided by 1.36 ie 22 stations approx. (assuming you deploy one person per station)

If you increase the manpower then probably you can reduce stations only if all the persons on that station can work independently. Let us assume that two persons can work simultaneously then you can deploy two people per station and 30 divided by ( 2 x 1.36 ) will give you 11 stations. This 30 min. is called as work content. Work content is the total time required to produce a particular product. If there is a sequence of processes which can not be done in parallel then you can not add extra manpower to reduce stations.

So in entire calculation TAKT time is important to allocate correct manpower to avoid over or under production. Overproduction is an inventory and form of waste. If there is a sudden decrease in market demand then overproduction is cost wasted. Underproduction is simply not meeting the demand and sometimes require working in two shifts rather than one shift to meet the demand. This is inefficiency in production.

There are a couple of other key factors such as following

% Utilization:- If a person is working on a station for complete 1.36 min. That means cycle time of that station is equal to TAKT time then it is 100% utilization. If your cycle time is less than takt time then remaining time is waste on that particular station.

% Value added work:-  In the entire process, only value addition on part comes under this %. All other motions such as picking, placing, unwrapping, moving come under non-value added work. Suppose there is a process of cutting the raw material to its shape then only cutting is value added. All other motions are non-value added. This % is a measure to reduce wastes in motion, packing, unwrapping, adjustment etc.

If the process of cutting takes 1 min out of 1.36 min cycle time then 1 divided 1.36 will be 73.5% value added. % value addition can be improved if other movements are reduced and thus increasing productivity.

Hope above explanation gives an idea of process planning to layman or beginners.

Note:- There are various small important factors in the above calculations which are not discussed here. These process specific details can be discussed separately.


Are you fresh engineer looking for a job in Automotive Industry?

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When an engineering students graduate from engineering college, most of them don’t know the details of typical jobs in the industry. Most of the engineering colleges don’t do enough to give on the job training to students to understand the industry operations.

Students end up in selecting the jobs which they dreamed of and land up in profiles which they regret throughout their career. There is a real need for correcting the pattern of engineering programs.

Anyway, are you here to find out the million dollar question of detail understanding of the job profiles in typical Automotive Industry then you are at correct place.

Before reading, please understand that typical jobs in industry use only 10% of engineering knowledge learned throughout the 4 or 5 years engineering degree. There would be very few job profiles which will use more than that. All you need is job specific knowledge and aptitude learned in engineering. Aptitude of quick learning, handling the pressure, stretching your boundaries, and facing the audience are the qualities engineering gives to a typical student and that is required most of the time in your job profile.

So here are a few key job profiles, which you can consider.

  1. DESIGN ENGINEER: Design engineer typically has a job of designing components of the car. No designer designs an entire car unless he is the original concept designer. Generally, Concept designing happens at the Design Studio located at homeroom ( mother plant or main design facility of the company). Sometimes concept designing is offloaded to design firms. So generally design engineers have the work of designing individual systems such as seating, dashboard. One system may have a number of engineers. You can learn 3D designing, GD&T, and working of typical systems of the car. If you are really fond of 3D modeling then it is a good choice. If you are fond of concept designing then you should have the design degree such Masters in Design or similar.
  2. MANUFACTURING/ PRODUCTION ENGINEER: This profile typically has a job of handling production. In day to day operation, you will learn to handle manpower, to build interpersonal relationships and to resolve design/ process issue. Generally, this job has a hectic work schedule due to on the toes kind of work. Stopping of production for minute means loss of car production and has a great impact on cost. Guys who are really good at handling manpower can think of this profile.
  3. MANUFACTURING ENGINEERING ENGINEER/ PROCESS PLANNING ENGINEER: This profile is a bridge between design and manufacturing. Typical job profile has a responsibility of planning a process to manufacture a car from the designs. Creating process sheets/ installing required machines and equipment for manufacturing/ achieving required quality out of all the facilities are the key responsibilities. Guys who are fond of project management and process planning can think of this profile. This job requires agility/ problem resolution/ thinking ahead/Leading from the front kind of qualities
  4. QUALITY ENGINEER: Quality Engineer has a job of developing quality targets for product and also maintaining the same during production. This profile has responsibilities of checking the car quality during production such as torques to the joints, gaps/ flushness, and functionality of systems. Quality Engineer is a key stakeholder of problem resolution and uses different tools such as SPC, why-why analysis etc. If you have an interest in working on problem resolution, analyzing data then you can go for this.
  5. LOGISTICS ENGINEER: Logistics department is responsible for different functions such as getting the parts from a supplier, managing supply of parts on production line, getting consumables and indirect parts. Getting the parts from supplier involves the use of supply chain strategies such as Just in Time, Sequencing, warehousing etc. Supplying part on production line involves the different supply methods such as direct on a production line, making kits and then supply etc. If you are fond of supply chain methods then you can opt for this profile. This profile needs the capability of dealing with a supplier, fluctuations in demand and supply, handling manpower on the shop floor for material supply.

These are key job profiles and do not cover the entire Automotive jobs portfolio. However, if you have any question then you can reach out and get all your doubts clarified.