“How is it made?” - Paving the way for our youngsters to become entrepreneurs (By Manufacturing, Industrial & Systems Division)

Written by the Manufacturing and Industrial Division of the HKIE

Hong Kong has served as a gateway to the PRC for many decades. The economic activities of nearby regions have been interacting with each other throughout history. The welfare of a region's people depends on a healthy economy, in which wealth is generally created by successful businesses. This involves a host of processes, from converting or harnessing resources (including information) into useful products or quality services. 

Industrial and Systems engineers are trained to create, design, maintain, integrate and improve these processes. When we enjoy a new product, we often ask a simple question – "How was it made?" or "How did it come to me?"

Businesses are composed of many complex systems with various dimensions. People can be a system that involves people skills, learning, work-rest cycles, ergonomics, behavioral science and safety. Machinery can be another system, involving manufacturing technology, tooling and method controls. Production is also a system, comprising planning, scheduling, material control, logistics and work study. Quality and reliability is undoubtedly a system too, concerning standards, method reviews and improvement. Other factors such as costing, product design, marketing, selling techniques, distribution system, sustainability, corporate social responsibility are all important aspects of growing a business and creating wealth. 

But these are not the only factors. For example, Hong Kong has higher costs than many neighbouring regions. What Hong Kong Manufacturing and Industrial (MI) engineers should do is contribute their technological know-how and innovative ideas. Technologies are developing fast and one should not stop learning after graduation. MI engineering can be a life-long career in today's ever-changing environment which demands experience and continuous learning. MI engineering is also a community career which requires sharing and social networking. 

A lot of MI engineers reach the top management level in their career with their strong abilities to handle human and material information resources and become entrepreneurs to capitalise their innovative and analytical mindsets by starting their own business. The HKIE MI Division provides continuous training opportunities through organising various technical seminars, industrial visits, study trips, workshops, and educational programmes, catering for the needs of undergraduates up to senior professionals. 

A new era of industrialisation as arrived in many advanced countries.  They realise that economic strength is built on advanced manufacturing capabilities. The fourth industrial revolution is characterised by the smart integration of icloud and manufacturing. The PRC has announced a new industrialisation plan, "Made-in-China 2025", applying Industry 4.0 to ten key sectors, namely, new information technology, numerical control tools, aerospace equipment, high-tech ships, railway equipment, energy saving, new materials, medical devices, agricultural machinery, and power equipment. MI engineers and Hong Kong entrepreneurs should be prepared for the tremendous challenges and opportunities ahead.

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