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the steam engine generating economies of scale

Engineering is traditionally decompositional. To understand the whole, it is first broken into its parts. One then masters the parts and puts them back together, becoming the master of the whole. Industrial and systems engineering’s (ISE) approach is the opposite; any one part cannot be understood without the context of the whole. Changes in one part affect the whole, and the role of a part is a projection into the whole. In traditional engineering, people understand the parts first, then they can understand the whole. In ISE, they understand the whole first, and then they can understand the role of each part.

Also, Industrial engineering considers the human factor and its relation to the technical aspect of the situation and the all of the other factors that influence the entire situation[while other engineering disciplines focus on the design of inanimate objects.

“Industrial Engineers integrate combinations of people, information, materials, and equipment that produce innovative and efficient organizations. In addition to manufacturing, Industrial Engineers work and consult in every industry, including hospitals, communications, e-commerce, entertainment, government, finance, food, pharmaceuticals, semiconductors, sports, insurance, sales, accounting, banking, travel, and transportation.”[

“Industrial Engineering is the branch of Engineering most closely related to human resources in that we apply social skills to work with all types of employees, from engineers to salespeople to top management. One of the main focuses of an Industrial Engineer is to improve the working environments of people – not to change the worker, but to change the workplace.”[

“All engineers, including Industrial Engineers, take mathematics through calculus and differential equations. Industrial Engineering is different in that it is based on discrete variable math, whereas all other engineering is based on continuous variable math. We emphasize the use of linear algebra and difference equations, as opposed to the use of differential equations which are so prevalent in other engineering disciplines. This emphasis becomes evident in optimization of production systems in which we are sequencing orders, scheduling batches, determining the number of materials handling units, arranging factory layouts, finding sequences of motions, etc. As, Industrial Engineers, we deal almost exclusively with systems of discrete components.