difference between industrial and manufacturing engineering

Industrial engineers develop and put into use organizational and management systems, while manufacturing engineers design production processes. There is considerable mobility between industrial engineering specializations at the less senior levels, and engineers often work in a multidisciplinary environment and acquire knowledge and skills through work experience that may allow them to work in associated areas of science, engineering, administration or management.

Industrial and manufacturing engineering is a dynamic field that plays a pivotal role in the development of various industries in Pakistan. With a growing industrial base and a shift towards modern manufacturing processes, the scope for professionals in this field is expanding rapidly. This article delves into the scope of industrial and manufacturing engineering in Pakistan, the distinctions between various engineering disciplines, and the potential career prospects in this exciting field.

Industrial and manufacturing engineers:

  • Carry out studies, and develop and supervise programs to best use equipment, human resources, technology, materials and procedures to improve efficiency and productivity
  • Work for consulting firms; manufacturing and processing companies; government; financial, health care and other institutions; or they may be self-employed


Industrial and manufacturing engineers perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Plan and design plant layouts and facilities
  • Study new machinery and facilities, and recommend or select efficient combinations
  • Develop flexible or combined manufacturing systems and procedures
  • Carry out studies and put into use programs to determine the best inventory levels for production, and the best use of machinery, materials and resources
  • Analyze costs of production
  • Design, develop and carry out time studies and work simplification programs
  • Determine human resource and skill requirements and develop training programs
  • Develop performance standards, evaluation systems and wage and incentive programs
  • Carry out studies of the reliability and performance of plant facilities and production or administrative systems
  • Develop maintenance standards, schedules and programs
  • Create programs and carry out studies to improve industrial health and safety or to identify and correct fire and other hazards
  • Evaluate industrial facilities
  • Supervise technicians, technologists, analysts, administrative staff and other engineers

Is Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering the Same?

Before discussing the scope and opportunities in industrial and manufacturing engineering, it’s crucial to clarify whether industrial engineering and manufacturing engineering are synonymous. While there is overlap between the two fields, they are not the same. Industrial engineering focuses on optimizing processes and systems in various industries, including healthcare, transportation, and manufacturing. Manufacturing engineering, on the other hand, specifically concentrates on the design and improvement of manufacturing processes and systems. Both fields emphasize efficiency and productivity, but their applications differ.

Difference Between an Industrial and Production Engineer

The terms ‘industrial engineering’ and ‘production engineering’ are often used interchangeably, leading to confusion. However, they are distinct disciplines with some commonalities. An industrial engineer primarily concentrates on the improvement of systems and processes within an organization to enhance overall efficiency. In contrast, a production engineer is more focused on optimizing the manufacturing process to ensure the production of high-quality goods at minimal cost.

Industrial engineers are responsible for everything from resource allocation and quality control to process analysis and supply chain management. They play a vital role in streamlining operations across a variety of industries, such as healthcare, logistics, and manufacturing. On the other hand, production engineers are primarily associated with the manufacturing industry, working on tasks like design, maintenance, and process improvement in factories.

Difference Between Industrial and Production Engineering

The difference between industrial engineering and production engineering can be summarized as follows:

Industrial Engineering:

  • Focus on improving processes and systems across various industries.
  • Emphasis on optimization, resource allocation, and overall efficiency.
  • Broad application, including healthcare, logistics, and services.
  • Involves tasks related to quality control, supply chain management, and process analysis.

Production Engineering:

  • Focus on optimizing manufacturing processes.
  • Concentration on ensuring high-quality production at minimal cost.
  • Mainly associated with the manufacturing industry.
  • Involves tasks like design, maintenance, and process improvement in factories.

Understanding these distinctions is essential when considering a career in industrial or production engineering. Depending on your interests and career goals, you can choose the path that aligns with your aspirations.

What’s the Difference Between Industrial and Mechanical Engineering

To add another layer of complexity, industrial engineering is often compared to mechanical engineering. While both disciplines have similarities, they have different areas of focus.

Industrial Engineering vs. Mechanical Engineering:

  • Industrial engineering primarily deals with the optimization of processes and systems in various industries.
  • Mechanical engineering focuses on the design, analysis, and maintenance of mechanical systems, including machinery and equipment.
  • Industrial engineers work on improving efficiency, quality, and productivity in a broad range of industries.
  • Mechanical engineers are involved in the design and development of mechanical components and systems, such as engines, machines, and tools.

In summary, industrial engineering is more concerned with processes and systems in a wide array of industries, whereas mechanical engineering is specific to mechanical systems and equipment. The choice between these two fields depends on your interests and the type of work you find most appealing.


Industrial and manufacturing engineering is a promising field in Pakistan, given the country’s growing industrial sector. While it’s important to differentiate between related engineering disciplines like industrial, production, and mechanical engineering, each offers unique career prospects. As industries continue to evolve and seek greater efficiency, professionals in these fields will be in demand to drive progress and innovation. Understanding the distinctions between these fields allows aspiring engineers to make informed decisions and choose a path that aligns with their career goals and interests. In conclusion, the scope of industrial and manufacturing engineering in Pakistan is vast and presents a world of opportunities for those willing to embark on this rewarding journey.

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