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Process Industries Division

What are the Process Industries?

The process industries are those industries where the primary production processes are either continuous, or occur on a batch of materials that is indistinguishable. For example, a food processing company making sauce may make the sauce in a continuous, uninterrupted flow from receipt of ingredients through packaging. Or batches may be produced depending on the cook kettle sizes but immediately combined and re-routed. In either case, there is no concept of a unit of sauce while it is being processed. Examples of the process industries include food, beverages, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, petroleum, ceramics, base metals, coal, plastics, rubber, textiles, tobacco, wood and wood products, paper and paper products, etc.

For more on the role of industrial engineering in process industries, read "Making Cereal Not Cars," a primer on process industries. This article was published in the December 2008 issue of Industrial Engineer magazine and is available only to IIE members. If you are not a member, join IIE for access to this article as well as additional member-only benefits.

What is the Process Industries Division?

Applying industrial engineering tools in the process industries can vary greatly from applying these same tools in discrete parts manufacturing. The Process Industries Division is a forum for the exchange of ideas in theory and practice of industrial engineering techniques applied to process industries; facilitating greater interactions among industry and academic professionals by organizing.

President's message

Martin SteinDear Process Industries Division member,
We are very interested in keeping you informed of our activities! This year we have received a record number of abstracts for the annual conference in Nashville, and we hope to see you there! As usual we will host a Town Hall Meeting for PID as well as sessions designed to keep you informed about the latest developments and innovations in the Process Industries. The Board of the Process Industries Division seeks new members! Please consider joining or nominating a colleague! The incoming president, Vincent Howell, is looking forward to working with you in the coming year. I would like to thank the members who contributed to our success this year and who helped with webinars, conference activities and the Board. Also, a special thanks to Mike Testani, who chaired our new Membership Committee and to Anna Olender who was our excellent Board Secretary.

Martin Stein, D.Sc.
Process Industries President, 2014-2015  

2015 IIE Annual Conference & Expo

Please plan to join us at the 2015 IIE Annual conference, held in Nashville, Tennessee. We have a full slate of presentations in the Applied Solutions track, as well the IERC. We look forward to seeing everyone at the Town Hall Meeting, too. For information go to the conference website 

 Webinar upcoming 

Webinar button 

Protecting Innovation: Intellectual Asset Protection in the Process Industry
May 5 | 2 p.m. Eastern time
Vincent Howell, manager, information security and policy, Corning Inc.
The process industry is one of the world’s most innovative industries. It is an industry that touches most products that impact our daily lives. Examples include chemicals, plastics, pharmaceuticals, glass and ceramics, and food, just to name a few. More information and registration 

Webinars update

On Jan.15, Aaron J. Owens, Ph.D, of DuPont Company, presented the webinar “Predictive Analytics for Big Data.” In the fall, plans are to present a webinar titled, “Developing and Using Flexible Simulation Models.” We are looking for at least one more this year. As you likely know, the division tries to put on several webinars each year. We are looking for a limited number of presenters for the Process Industries Division 2015 Webinar Series! Webinars are great vehicles for establishing yourself as an expert in our field. IIE-PID webinars have an audience of engineers from major companies throughout the world and averages sixty, with some webinars attracting more than one hundred participants. To apply to present a webinar, send an abstract and contact information to Bennett Foster, IIE-PID webinar chair. 

Archived webinars

Did you miss a webinar? View previously held webinars here.

Forthcoming book

Value Stream Mapping and the Process IndustriesPete King, past president of the IIE Process Industries Division will have his third book published in May 2015. The book is titled, Value Stream Mapping for the Process Industries, published by CRC Press. It will be available via from Amazon, BarnesandNoble.com, etc., late in May.

Publishers summary of the book "So far, lean initiatives in the process industry were handicapped by the fact that all good books on Value Stream Mapping refer to discrete manufacturing. Food, pharma and chemical processes are by their nature different and need an adapted approach. Building on Pete King’s deep hands-on experience, this book provides the process industry with a state of the art toolkit to eliminate waste and reach breakthrough performance. Using a process operation as an example, it describes how to create the VSM, how to analyze it to find wastes and barriers to smooth flow, and how to use future state VSMs to define a roadmap for a complete lean transformation."

Pete’s other books are The Product Wheel Handbook – Creating Balanced Flow in Multi-Product Process Operations and Lean for the Process Industries: Dealing with Complexity

 PID members contributions to IE literature

1. Reinventing the (product) wheel- Scheduling strategy makes for better flow, by Peter L. King (with Jennifer S. King) in the November 2013 issue of IIE Magazine
2. Building Long –Term Success for your Lean Initiative, by Vincent W. Howell, FSME, forthcoming in the April 2015 issue of Ceramic Industry magazine.
3. Yokoten: Multiplying Lean Success in Ceramic and Glass Manufacturing, by Vincent W. Howell, FSME, May 2014 issue of Ceramic Industry Magazine

Monthly PID Advisory Board telephone meetings

The PID board holds a one-hour call each month, both to discuss administrative details (approximately 20 minutes) and to conduct a roundtable discussion on a topic of current interest to IEs (20-30 minutes). All PID members are welcome to participate.

If you'd like to be added to the distribution list for these calls, please contact Luis Armendariz. Or just dial in using this information:

Day: Second Monday of each month
Time: Noon Eastern time
Toll free call-in number: (866) 951-1151
(Toll free numbers are also available for outside the U.S. - contact me to get a number for your location.)
Conference room number: 7215762


April 2015 

PID Personnel News

If you have an award, publication, promotion, etc., share the news with your colleagues in PID. Email to luisarmen100@gmail.com.

Process Industries Division Bylaws 

Process Industries Division Board