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Hands on Engineering Activity: Manufacturing Engineering – How things are made

Try out the activity below to learn about the process of manufacturing engineering!
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Manufacturing engineering is a branch of engineering that focuses on improving the production of an item, whether that’s through making product design changes or creating more effective manufacturing processes. They apply their technical skills to evaluate which parts of the manufacturing process can be improved to make it run more quickly and make better quality products.

The improvements they make can range from upgrading a piece of equipment to introducing a new tool for a worker on the manufacturing line to use. Many engineers are drawn to engineering in the first place because of their love of building things! Manufacturing engineers stay laser-focused on creating the best, most efficient product possible.

This month, we’re challenging you to think like a Manufacturing Engineer by looking at how something is made, and looking for ways of improving the process.


  • Smart Phone, Tablet or Computer with access to the internet
  • Paper
  • Pen/Pencil


  • Watch the video at the clip below about how Crayons are made and packaged.
  • Briefly describe the process. Outline the steps described in the video and draw your own version of  the ‘assembly line’. 

 Where do you think changes could be made to make the process more efficient, or to improve or guarantee quality? Remember Manufacturing Engineers look at every step of the process, including the materials used to find ways to improve.

Answer the following questions on your piece of paper:

  • Are there any steps that could be combined, skipped or have another step added to improve the process?
  •  How is the quality of the product maintained? Are there things you could add to improve quality assurance?
  •  How do you think this product might have been made before the Industrial Revolution and the use of factories/assembly lines/mass production?

  Draw your revised ‘assembly line’.

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