5 Analytical Tools to Improve Your Mechanical Engineering Resume, Career & Knowledge

Joshua Zable | 9/28/2022

Topics: Minitab Statistical Software, Minitab Workspace, Data Analysis, Minitab Engage

Part of the challenge (and fun!) of being a mechanical engineer is the constant quest for improvement opportunities. Whether it be your product or processes, mechanical engineers are responsible for identifying problems and conducting experiments to improve them. Isn’t it time you took a little time to make yourself an even better engineer? Learning and leveraging these analytical tools will not only help you perform better, but provide more tools in your arsenal to tackle new and exciting challenges.
  1. Identify Problems in Products Using Visualizations. Where possible, collect data and graph it in commonly used histograms, pareto charts, heat maps and even correlograms. Minitab’s new Graph Builder enables you to easily visualize your data and see visualizations you hadn’t even considered.

  2. Identify Problems Using Process Analysis Tools. Whether you’ve identified a problem or not, process analysis tools help you review a process to identify areas of failure or opportunities for improvement. Failure Modes and Effects Analysis, also know as FMEAs, help you assess risk and process maps or flow charts can help you quickly target an area that needs attention.

  3. Assess Process Stability Using Control Charts. Mechanical engineers should monitor their process to ensure quality and consistency. There are many statistical tools like control charts and capability analyses that help mechanical engineers monitor variation in a process and determine whether a process will produce products that meet the required specifications. Real-Time SPC powered by Minitab provides immediate alerts and analyses to ensure a process is stable, efficient and capable.

  4. Design and Develop Prototypes Using Product Development Tools & Methodologies. There are many product development tools you should be using before jumping to your CAD system. Bringing a product to market requires a solid understanding of your customers’ wants and needs, as well as a disciplined approach. Learn how to use decision matrix tools like a House of Quality Matrix or Pugh Matrix or learn from this medical device manufacturer that used a Voice of the Customer Summary and Kano Model to bring new product to market lightning fast. If you’re interested in learning about product development methodologies (and more!), check out our Periodic Table of Structured Problem-Solving Methodologies.

  5. Utilize Design of Experiments (DOE). Design of Experiments (DOE) is a systematic and rigorous approach to problem-solving that ensures the generation of valid, defensible, and supportable conclusions. It can be effective for general problem-solving, as well as for improving or optimizing product design and manufacturing processes. A mechanical engineer might use DOE to: identify proper design dimensions and tolerances, achieve robust designs, describe physical system behavior or determine ideal manufacturing settings. Read about an example of a DOE or learn to improve manufacturing processes using different analyses including DOE at a Minitab training.

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