A plant engineer works at the manufacturing or assembly facility in a management and supervisory position. They generally oversee operations and - depending on their company and whether it employs a senior plant engineer - may have the final say on how relevant manufacturing plant functions are performed.
The plant engineer works constantly with all machinery and robotics used in the manufacturing process to ensure they work at peak efficiency and safety. They monitor performance of this equipment and ensure that maintenance engineering personnel keep it operating properly. Plant engineers also monitor employee performance metrics and adjust staffing as necessary, as well as make any needed changes to the processes and procedures to ensure peak efficiency in the plant. Additionally, the plant manager works with the various departments in the facility (such as quality control, design, logistics, and maintenance) to ensure that all products manufactured in the plant adhere to company and product standards. Plant managers normally work during regular business hours in the assembly or manufacturing center they supervise. For large operations that do multishift assembly (such as automotive assembly operations), the plant manager may be assigned to evening or overnight shifts.
To be a plant engineer, a person must have a bachelor’s degree in mechanical, electrical, or industrial engineering. Large plants and facilities - or for positions in which the plant manager is given full authority over a facility - likely require post-baccalaureate education as well. Additionally, this position normally requires on-the-job experience in middle management in manufacturing facilities.
Plant Engineer Tasks
- Ensures facility compliance with regulatory requirements, and continuous and relation operation.
- Develops operational plans for facility projects; such as construction or renovation, HVAC, maintenance and machine installation.
- Trains and assists plant personnel in safety and quality control procedures.
- Reviews project plan including cost estimates, timelines, and blueprints; interpret and recommend changes to plans.