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value engineering[′val·yü ‚en·jə‚nir·iŋ]
A thinking system (also called value management or value analysis) used to develop decision criteria when it is important to secure as much as possible of what is wanted from each unit of the resource used. The resource may be money, time, material, labor, space, energy, and so on. The system is unique in that it effectively uses both knowledge and creativity, and provides step-by-step techniques for maximizing the benefits from both. It promotes development of alternatives suitable for the future as well as the present. This is accomplished by identifying and studying each function that is wanted by the customer or user, then applying knowledge and creativity to achieve the desired function. Resources are converted into costs to achieve direct, meaningful comparisons. By using the methods of value engineering, 15 to 40% reduction in the required resources often results.
Value engineering has applications in five broad areas: in design, purchase, and manufacture of products; in administrative groups, private or public, where the task is to achieve accomplishment through people; in all areas of social service work, such as hospitals, insurance services, or colleges; in architectural design and construction; and in development as well as research.
The system is used to improve value in either or both of two situations: (1) The product or service as used or as planned may provide 100% of the functions the user wants, but lower costs may be needed. The system then holds those functions but achieves them at lower cost. (2) The product or service may have deficiencies, that is, it does not perform the desired functions or lacks quality, and so also lacks good value. The system aims at correcting those deficiencies, providing the functions wanted, while at the same time holding the use of resources (costs) at a minimum. See Industrial engineering, Methods engineering, Operations research, Optimization, Process engineering, Production engineering, Production planning