What is production & process development?
This area of science is all about working in the exciting world of manufacturing and production. Each and every area of manufacturing relies on talented scientists to devise, implement and control the production processes and procedures that help companies to create quality, useful and exciting products.
What does production & process development involve?
Mass production is not a simple business. It relies on complex scientific and technical processes. These need to be formulated and developed properly by a team of expert scientists in order to ensure that the best possible products are produced.
Product and process development is an essential cog in the production wheel. Sure, when it comes to producing quality products, extensive research is vital and the actual physical creation of products is completely fundamental –but what ties these two stages of production together? Product and process development, that’s what! Without the brainy scientists working in this area, the transition from a concept to an actual ‘thing’ would never take place!
Scientists from all kinds of academic backgrounds can get involved. For instance, chemistry and chemical engineering graduates play an integral role in the production of chemicals, polymers, plastics, food, medicines and other pharmaceutical products.
Graduates with a biology or bioengineering background can work for companies that focus on biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and food production. Furthermore, physics and mechanical engineering graduates might look to develop a career in the electrical equipment, automotive, aerospace or defence industries.
It doesn’t really matter what area of science you study: there will certainly be an area of product and process development that you can break into!
What options do I have within this field?
If you pursue a career as a process development scientist, you will be tasked with improving the performance, efficiency and effectiveness of existing production processes. Furthermore, you will be developing new processes that produce new-fangled products in a highly-efficient way.
Once a production process has been implemented, you will also work in a quality control capacity, making sure that production corresponds with rigorous protocols and controls. You will also be acting as a consultant, monitoring equipment and advising maintenance technicians on what adjustments need to be made.
Product development scientists work in conjunction with research scientists. They utilise their detailed research findings to figure out the way that ideas and concepts can be turned into actual products and then scaled up and produced on a larger scale.
If you become a product development scientist, you will be overseeing the design, development and creation of prototypes or sample products. You will be conducting feasibility studies and determining whether or not the prototypes can actually be scaled up. You will then be responsible for presenting your results to other departments and getting everything signed off before the production process begins.
For more detail on this area of science careers, you should also check out the following subsectors:
- Aerospace, Marine & Military Vehicles
- Cars, Vans & Automobiles
- Chemicals, Plastics & Polymers
- Electrical Equipment & Electronics
- Food & Drink
- Food Sciences
- Metals, Construction & Industrial Materials
- Polymer Chemistry
- Production Engineering
While ‘scaling up’ products isn’t like the anti-Honey I Shrunk the Kids, but actually just plain old mass production, there is still an enormous amount of interesting scientific research, study and practical application involved in product and process development. Just check out the above list to see how many different sectors you can be part of, too!