What is Product Engineering?

Encora | January 21, 2022

While there are an almost infinite number of different types of products in the world, they can all generally be classified within seven different categories. The seven product categories are environmental and service, packaging and durability, web and software, electronics, libraries and firmware, sensors and hardware, and regulatory and commercials. None of these products created themselves. In fact, complex systems of layered expertise from a variety of professionals were required to bring each product to life. Within the lifespan of a product, there are many important stages. One of the most important is product engineering

Product engineering is the process of creating an object, device, article, assembly, or system. This definition applies to physical as well as software digital products, the entire lifecycle of an item must be negotiated by a product engineer. The production manufacturing process relies heavily upon product engineering. Product engineering involves overseeing many aspects of the commodity including but not limited to the quality, performance, cost, usability, reliability, lifespan, and serviceability. 

What is the role of a product engineer?

The role of a product engineer is critical to the creation of commodities, devices, and systems. Without product engineering, a product would just remain as an idea or non-functioning, non-reproducible model. The role of the product engineer is to connect the development and production teams with technical expertise and processes that are critical for bringing the object to life. A product engineer ensures the entity will reliably function and can be produced in a cost-effective manner. The product engineer works closely with the designer or design team to make sure the functionality and aesthetics align with the client’s goals. The product engineer also works closely with the production team to make sure the item can be made in a stream-lined process that is as cost-effective as possible. A product engineer may also need to innovate production or assembly methods and materials to meet the client’s goals for functionality, production, and usability. 

What are the responsibilities of a product engineer?

A product engineer has many responsibilities. A product engineer is responsible for understanding and applying statistical methods and tools, software and hardware systems, physical analysis, simulation programs, technology specific to the commodity, and problem-solving skills. A product engineer is skilled in the most innovative programming software so that every product not only meets current needs but is also prepared for the future. The product engineer is responsible for ensuring the product can withstand normal wear and tear, and must analyze failure rates, and troubleshoot these factors for production. Through this process, a product engineer is responsible for creating a rigorous engineering specification document, the most useful being a “working spec” document organized by requirement. A working spec document is designed to be continually updated, and this is helpful because many products need to evolve over time. At multiple stages of development, the product engineer tests the item to ensure that it meets the specifications, and also contributes to the specification document as needed. The product cycles through the development and testing until it meets or exceeds all of the requirements. Products must be tested to evaluate the performance and load, usability, functionality, API, security, and penetration. When done manually with traditional methods, this process can be tedious and time-consuming. However, there is a strategy that is easier, more reliable, and more efficient. 

Key Takeaways

Fine tuning product engineering and development is a way that businesses can gain a competitive edge in today’s rapidly expanding market. It is critical for businesses to maximize productivity, and oftentimes, businesses struggle to find product engineering teams that can fulfill all their strategic goals in a cost-effective manner. Product engineering requires a finely-honed skill set that is constantly up to date with the latest technology. All phases of the product’s lifecycle need to be deeply crafted and managed by advanced software. The rapidly advancing fields of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning can be integrated into product engineering to maximize every business. The best product engineers are also knowledgeable about technologies that are on the horizon so that real-time updates can respond to market demands. 

How Encora Can Help

Encora is a leader in strategic innovation, development, and market adoption. Encora utilizes accelerated technologies, top talent, and the most trusted tools to provide clients with competitive advantages. With their proprietary approach, Encora facilitates product innovation at exceptionally low costs. Because it is critical that every product is exceptionally reliable, product testing is enhanced and streamlined through automation in leading frameworks such as LoadRunner, JMeter, and Silk Performer. With Encora, product launches are flawless and post-production maintenance is minimized. Through leverage of Agile and Lean principles, Encora is responsible for accelerating many clients to market leadership. Learn more about what Encora can offer today!

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