The ability of successful companies to meet the growing demand of customers is heavily influenced by the development of advanced manufacturing technologies. Customers expect high complexity products, on demand, and with a growing element of customisation. In adopting advanced manufacturing technologies, successful companies will ensure faster time to market of new products, improve products and processes, use new, sustainable, materials, and customise to customer requirements. Manufacturing systems engineering underpins this development.

In order to meet changing customer expectations and gain competitive advantage, focus needs to be applied to developing smart factories and advanced manufacturing technologies. Manufacturing organisations will seek integration between manufacturing technology, high performance computing, the internet, and the product at all stages of its life cycle. Industry 4.0 is the term that has been adopted to describe the ‘fourth’ industrial revolution currently underway, at present, in the manufacturing and commercial sectors of our society. It is a revolution based on the integration of cyber-physical systems with the Internet of Things and services. For the manufacturing sector, this integration has been enabled by successfully combining high performance computing, the internet and the development of advanced manufacturing technologies. Industry 4.0 is changing the way the world’s most successful companies produce the products that their global customers demand.

On successful completion of this unit students will be able to analyse and evaluate the potential of using advanced manufacturing technologies to improve the competitive advantage of the organisations adopting them. The student will develop knowledge and understanding of advanced manufacturing technologies, digitalisation and a range of advanced manufacturing technologies. They will also develop their own research activities into the latest developments.

The responsibilities of the engineer go far beyond completing the task in hand. Reflecting on their role in a wider ethical, environmental and sustainability context starts the process of becoming a professional engineer – a vial requirement for career progression.

Engineers seldom work in isolation and most tasks they undertake require a range of expertise, designing, developing, manufacturing, constructing, operating and maintaining the physical infrastructure and content of our world. The bringing together of these skills, expertise and experience is often managed through the creation of a project.

This unit introduces students to the techniques and best practices required to successfully create and manage an engineering project designed to identify a solution to an engineering need. While carrying out this project students will consider the role and function of engineering in our society, the professional duties and responsibilities expected of engineers together with the behaviours that accompany their actions.

Among the topics covered in this unit are: roles, responsibilities and behaviours of a professional engineer, planning a project, project management stages, devising solutions, theories and calculations, management using a Gantt chart, evaluation techniques, communication skills, and the creation and presentation of a project report.

On successful completion of this unit students will be able to conceive, plan, develop and execute a successful engineering project, and produce and present a project report outlining and reflecting on the outcomes of each of the project

processes and stages. As a result, they will develop skills such as critical thinking,

analysis, reasoning, interpretation, decision-making, information literacy, and

information and communication technology, and skills in professional and confident


This unit is assessed by a Pearson-set assignment. The project brief will be set by

the centre, based on a theme provided by Pearson (this will change annually). The

theme and chosen project within the theme will enable students to explore and

examine a relevant and current topical aspect of professional engineering.

*Please refer to the accompanying Pearson-set Assignment Guide and the

Theme Release document for further support and guidance on the delivery

of the Pearson-set unit.

Auto-focus cameras, car cruise control and automated airport baggage handling

systems are examples of mechatronic systems. Mechatronics is the combination of

mechanical, electrical and computer/controlled engineering working together in

automated systems and ‘smart’ product design.

Among the topics included in this unit are: consideration of component

compatibility, constraints on size and cost, control devices used, British and/or

European standards relevant to application, sensor types and interfacing,

simulation and modelling software functions, system function and operation,

advantages and disadvantages of software simulation, component data sheets,

systems drawings, flowcharts, wiring and schematic diagrams.

On successful completion of this unit students will be able to explain the basic

mechatronic system components and functions, design a simple mechatronic

system specification for a given application, use appropriate simulation and

modelling software to examine its operation and function, and solve faults on

mechatronic systems using a range of techniques and methods.

Mechanical principles have been crucial for engineers to convert the energy

produced by burning oil and gas into systems to propel, steer and stop our

automobiles, aircraft and ships, amongst thousands of other applications. The

knowledge and application of these mechanical principles is still the essential

underpinning science of all machines in use today or being developed into the latest


The aim of this unit is to introduce students to the essential mechanical principles

associated with engineering applications.

Topics included in this unit are: behavioural characteristics of static, dynamic and

oscillating engineering systems including shear forces, bending moments, torsion,

linear and angular acceleration, conservation of energy and vibrating systems; and

the movement and transfer of energy by considering parameters of mechanical

power transmission systems.

On successful completion of this unit students will be able to explain the underlying

principles, requirements and limitations of mechanical systems