BETTERSFOR YOUR INFORMATIONSir - I was delighted to read MrPayne's contribution to the namechange debate in the March journal.The proposed changes are an impor-tant aspect of the future developmentof our Institution. It is thereforeextremely important that the views ofour younger members are brought tothe attention of our Corporate mem-bers who will be voting on thosechanges. All the extensive soundingstaken of the views of Student,Graduate, Associate Members andAssociates show unanimous supportfor the name change.
His letter did however highlighttwo misconceptions. Firstly the intakeon to Manufacturing Courses is notfalling but has been increasing (a 21%increase in 1987, a 16% increase in1988,10% increase in 1989 based onprevious year's figures).
Secondly, the response fromeducational establishments arosefrom the 25 million of governmentand industry funding which wasprovided in 1988 to increase theoutput of graduates and postgra-duates in manufacturing systemsengineering. This funding was thegovernment's response to the recom-mendations of an Engineering CouncilSteering Group (whose membershipincluded my predecessor and subse-quently myself and Dr John Parnaby,who was then President elect of thisInstitution). The money was used tofund places on both new and existingcourses.
In June 1988 we published a list ofall the Universities and Polytechnicswhich had benefited from this ini-tiative. In the same month wedistributed, in conjunction with NEDO,an MSE video entitled 'A Career ForTomorrow's World' free of charge intoall 'secondary schools in the UKtogether with teaching notes and aleaflet listing courses.
In the same issue, Mr Stephensonhas fallen into the trap of trying toidentify the definitions for manufac-ture and production from a dictionarypublished sixteen years ago. TheEnglish language has always beenchanging and, as the Chairman hasindicated in this introduction to theballot paper, "The Word 'production'is now generally used to refer to theprocess of physical material conver-sion. Our profession is concernedalso with manufacturing strategiesand the processes of developing newproducts, creating reliable vendorsupply lines, ensuring adequateinformation technology support,developing people at all levels, etc.
"Major companies of UK,European and USA parentage nowlabel these tasks as within manufac-turing engineering. Government stat-istics refer only to 'manufacturingengineering' not 'production engi-neering'."
John WestonDeputy Secretary I Prod E
MECH MERGE; -LET'S TRY AGAINSir - Concerning the merger andname change, I must write to echoalmost wholly the comments by yourcorrespondent John P Oliver in theMarch edition. I also am a Member ofboth the IProdE and IMechE andunderstand in detail the overlapbetween the technical ranges of bothInstitutions. We should try again tomerge those two Institutions, and thename of the combined body should bethe Institution of Mechanical Engi-neers.
I can see no technical reason for amerger with the IEE, although clearlythe interaction between the Mechani-
cal and Electrical/Electronic techno-logies will continue to grow.
We will not reach a critical mass tofully influence society as to ourcorrect status, I suspect, until allbranches of Engineering are united inone British Institution of Engineers.
As for changing the name, I see itas a marginal, expensive, and largelyacademic improvement.
34A Station RoadWraysbury
StainesMiddlesex TW19 5NE
STRENGTH IN DEPTHSir - If British Industry is to mount asustained challenge to become thebest in the world, then 'strength indepth' must be applied to overallrecruitment. By 'strength in depth' Idon't mean a workforce of purelygraduates, rather a mix whereby adefined career strategy is outlined fornew recruits.
The Manufacturing Matters article(February 1990) entitled 'The FutureStarts Here', provides an excellentstarting point. The engineering indus-try must become more attractive, notonly to school and university leavers,but also to mature people, especiallythose with the will to succeed.
However, when the ideal candi-dates are found, the difficult partbegins. These people must be kepthappy in their work for the company toreap the rewards from their skills.
For instance, it is pointlessrecruiting highly qualified engineersto perform basic technical dutiestasks which could be performedequally as well by an apprentice -trained craftsman, for instance.
By all means groom the newrecruit, but a definite career pathshould be outlined for the future,
providing of course that the individualmeets the required standard. Thesame procedure should also apply tothe recruitment of apprentices. Whyrecruit an apprentice with the bestschool exam results if his future liesas a craftsman - surely a morepractical school leaver will be bettersuited in such an instance?
This is why the 'strength in depth'concept must be applied now. Fromthe apprentice to the technician, andthe designer to the manager, careerpaths should be mapped out to suitthe individual's needs.
This type of recruitment will enablethe employee to realise his level, andtherefore set his own ambition targets.The incentive far all concerned isobvious. This kind of recruitmentstructure seems to be lacking inmodern engineering company strategy.The open-ended method of recruitingseems more popular in this country,culminating in many disillusionedengineers who are staying in theindustry purely for the financial gains.
Kevin WaltersIndustrial Engineer
Bonas Machine CompanyGateshead
AYESAND NOMAN WRITESSir - With reference to page 3 of theMarch issue, may I recommend:1) Vote to retain the present name.
Over 90% of the faculties inUniversities and Technical Colleges,worldwide in our field, use the name'Production'.
If we change our name, most of thestudents in these institutions will haveno further interest in us.
The change in name is not somenew glossy image which willrejuvenate us. It will exterminate us.2) Vote No to joining the IEE.
The IEE is weak on the productionside. It needs us, but it won't changeits name, so we will become ElectricalEngineers. This is nonsense. I am notan Electrical Engineer. I am aProduction Engineer.
Prof John L BurbidgeWild Goose Leys
Sir - 1 was very interested to read twoviewpoints of the single EuropeanMarket of 1992 in the March issue ofyour Journal.
Page 49 correctly stated that theSEM starts on 1 st January, 1993, buthow hilarious, Dr P H Lowe on Page14, thinks the market starts on 1stJanuary 1992 - less than two yearsaway!
I would have thought your editorialchecking would have removed suchhowlers. In your defence, othermagazines are also making a similarmistake.
D M HeughanDirector and Chief Executive
Furniture IndustryResearch Association
StevenageHerts SG1 2EW
MANUFACTURING ENGINEER MAY 1990