A manufacturing engineer defines the process and designs the equipment needed to create a product, like a car. For example, our plants have conveyors that move our cars from one place to the next as they’re being assembled. A manufacturing engineer would design that conveyor. They need to know how much weight it’s going to carry, how fast it needs to go, and whether there are obstacles it needs to avoid.
Not all of the machinery that engineers think up works as planned in the assembly line. In that case, we have to refine our designs. Once, I helped build a tool for our team to use in the plant. It was made to lift a car battery, load it under the hood within 50 seconds, and not damage anything in the process. But when we tried out the tool, it was awkward to use. It would sometimes drop the battery or bump into other parts of the car. We kept improving the design until it worked correctly and was easy for employees to use.