Introduction to Manufacturing: Textbook Authors Meet in Zürich

Torbjørn Netland and I met in person at ETH in Zurich on October 21-22 for the first time since 2019! In the meantime, we had met every week on Zoom, exchanged messages on Slack, and edited each other’s writings.

“This is what we want to say.”

About our book

Our Introduction to Manufacturing focuses on the engineering and management of factories, and direct links to suppliers and customers. It gives details on how operations should be designed and organized in a factory, and on the management of technology and people. It’s a textbook for university students — undergraduate and graduate — in Industrial Engineering (IE) or Operations Management (OM). We hope teachers, students, and practitioners will enjoy reading it and will find it useful.

Some existing textbooks cover general operations and supply chain management; others, processes and technology. Manufacturing operations, however, straddle these domains, and students go on to jobs that require knowledge of both.  We intend to fill this gap with a holistic approach in our book. It has five parts:

  1. Getting to Know Manufacturing: An introduction to the concepts of manufacturing as an economic activity, including serving market demand and manufacturing strategy.
  2. Engineering the Factory: The physical design of factories and processes, explaining how to establish the necessary infrastructure and technology.
  3. Making Information Flow: The information flows, or “central nervous system” that triggers and responds to events occurring in production.
  4. Making Materials Flow: The logistics of manufacturing, ranging from materials handling inside the factory to supply chain management.
  5. Enhancing Performance: The improvement of manufacturing activities, including the monitoring of performance and methods to improve it, both in times of normal operations and emergencies.


Introduction to Manufacturing, An Industrial Engineering and Management Perspective will be available from Routledge in early 2022.


Katalin Tesch and Torbjørn Netland

We thank Katalin Tesch and Susanne Barthl, at ETH Zurich, for their support with typesetting, illustrations, and layout design.

#industrialengineering, #operationsmanagement, #textbook