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Definition: Engineer-to-Order

Engineer to order is a type of manufacturing process in which a product is designed, engineered and finished after an order has been received. The product is engineered to meet the specifications desired by the received order. The representatives of the customer company engage with the manufacturing team throughout the process to ensure that each and every specification is met. The engineer to order process is used for very complex products or very specialized products.

Challenges with ETO (Engineer-to-order processes)

• The entire process has to be carefully planned as the product to be manufactured is complex

• High level of customer participation in the entire process

• A robust designing process required

• Lot of confusion is generally there between company and the consumers

• Several revisions may be required to finalize the engineering specifications

• Costs of the entire process are very difficult to be predicted

Steps for an efficient ETO process

I. Develop a consistent and efficient part numbering process

II. Ensure a robust designing process

III. Create proper bills for each item, subpart, assembly etc. to be used to manufacture the product

IV. Manage the engineering changes properly


ETO model is used in industrial manufacturing processes where the products are complex and costly. ETO process is used by the companies like Rafale, BEL, BHEL etc when they receive any special order from the defense ministry or any other ministry of any India. ETO model is very common in defense, aerospace and energy industry.


Hence, this concludes the definition of Engineer-to-Order along with its overview.


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