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Issues such as logistics, the co-ordination of different teams and control of machinery become more difficult when dealing with large, complex projects. Systems engineering is an interdisciplinary field of engineering focusing on how complex engineering projects should be designed and managed over the life cycle of a project.

Systems engineering deals with work processes and tools to manage risks on such projects, and overlaps with technical and human-centred disciplines such as control engineering, industrial engineering, organisational studies and project management. Manufacturing systems engineers work with production managers in factories to design and install new manufacturing equipment and assembly lines. They might also be involved in the building of new manufacturing plants. Managing each phase of a project and overseeing the work of technicians and other professionals, duties could include estimating costs for bids and tenders, building 3D models with CAD software, testing systems, analysing data and presenting plans to managers and clients for approval.

The overall aim would be to help the factory produce goods on time, on budget and to strict quality standards. Working environments depend on the industry, and range from factory floor to office or laboratory. 

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