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Product engineering refers to the process of designing and developing a device, assembly, or system such that it be produced as an item for sale through some production manufacturing process. Product engineering usually entails activity dealing with issues of cost, producibility, quality, performance, reliability, serviceability, intended lifespan and user features. These product characteristics are generally all sought in the attempt to make the resulting product attractive to its intended market and a successful contributor to the business of the organization that intends to offer the product to that market. It includes design, development and transitioning to manufacturing of the product. The term encompasses developing the concept of the product and the design and development of its mechanical, electronics and software components. After the initial design and development is done, transitioning the product to manufacture it in volumes is considered part of product engineering.
For example, the engineering of a digital camera would include defining the feature set, design of the optics, the mechanical and ergonomic design of the packaging, developing the electronics that control the various component and developing the software that allows the user to see the pictures, store them in memory and download them to a computer.
Area of responsibility
- Product engineers define the yield road map and drive the fulfillment during ramp-up and volume production,
- Identify and realize measures for yield improvement, test optimization and product cost-ability methods,
- Define qualification plan and perform feasibility analysis.
Product engineers are the technical interface between the component development team and the production side (Front End and Back End), especially after the development phase and qualifications when the high volume production is running.
Product engineers improve the product quality and secure the product reliability by balancing the cost of tests and tests coverage that could impact the production fall-off. They support failure analysis request from customers.
Knowledge and skills
The job requires the product engineer to have a very good working knowledge of:
- Statistical methods and tools
- Manufacturing process
- Software, hardware and systems implementation
- Product reliability and qualification
- Physical analysis methods
- Computer-aided design and simulation programs
- Specific technology
- Strong product Knowledge
- Strong analytic work methodology and problem-solving skills
- Continuous Improvement Knowledge
- Creative thinking
- Interpersonal communication
- Prototype software proficiency
A product engineer will use a wide range of tools and software, possibly including: 20/20, AutoCad, CATIA, PTC Creo, Solidworks, Unigraphics, Labview, JMP, DataConductor.