3 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y

Economies of Scale

Economies of Scale refers to the cost advantages associated with increasing the volume and/or rate of production. Imagine a company’s annual lease on their factory premises is $200,000 per year. If they make 100,000 units, the cost is 200,000 / 100,000 = $2 per unit. If they crank up production to 200,000 units, then the lease component of the cost of goods sold falls to $1 per unit.


Ecotoxicology is a scientific discipline combining the methods of ecology and toxicology in studying the effects of toxic substances and especially pollutants on the environment.


An elastomer is a polymer with the property of elasticity

Electro-Mechanical System

The phrase electro-mechanical system originated to describe all devices with interaction between electrical and mechanical elements – for example, a motor, or a switch. Now it means a mechanical device which is triggered or controlled by an electrical or electronic device including, for example, the huge number of products containing electronic microcontrollers, ranging from washing machines to aircraft fly-by-wire controls.

Electronic Data Interchange

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) standard data formats were developed in the early 1970s to support business-to-business e-commerce. Refined over the years, and with specific versions for particular industries, EDI is still in use today, for example, as messages attached to AS2 protocol communications, which can use Internet connections and maintain security.

Electronic Design Automation

Electronic Design Automation (EDA) is the class of software tools used for development of integrated circuits, PCBs, and electronic systems. Early EDA software enabled users to manipulate complex connector and device geometry layouts, and generate manufacturing instructions. Current systems have layered many levels of automation on top of this capability – now, users input requirements using diagrams or software-code-like statements. EDA software generates layouts from these inputs, and simulates their performance.

Electronic manufacturing services

Electronic manufacturing services (EMS) is the name used in the high-tech industry to identify companies that assemble, produce, and test electronic components and assemblies for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

Typically, OEMs retain ownership of product designs and brand names. Some EMS companies offer design, rapid prototyping and product testing services, and are described as contract electronic manufacturers (CEMs).

Electronic Point of Sale

Electronic Point of Sale (EPOS) systems are commonly found at retail checkouts, both instore and online. An in-store EPOS terminal supports item identification, pricing, and loyalty card systems as well as payment, in addition to communicating actual sales to finance and supply chain systems. Online EPOS systems are hosted on secure servers and used by an online customer via a web-interface to finalize delivery and payment arrangements.

Embedded System

An embedded system is a special-purpose computer system designed to perform one or a few dedicated functions, often with real-time computing constraints, and usually as a part of – i.e. embedded into – another product.

Employee time-to-productivity

Employee time-to-productivity, sometimes “Time to full productivity” measures the time taken for a new employee to learn enough to ably complete every aspect of their job. The time taken varies by role and can be work time or calendar time. The judgement about doing the job can be well defined or informal. There may be a framework of local employment law which guides the way the organization must work with the employee.

Energy Information Administration

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) is a US Government agency charged with providing official energy statistics. Its stated mission is to provide policy-neutral data, forecasts, and analyses to promote sound policy making, efficient markets, and public understanding regarding energy and its interaction with the economy and the environment.

Energy Intensity

Energy Intensity is the amount of energy consumed per unit of output. It can be applied at the level of a machine, a production line, a factory, or a process plant. It is also used by governments and industry bodies to characterize whole country economies and industry sectors.

Industry sectors where energy costs are a significant part of total costs are called ‘energy intensive’ sectors – for example, manufacture of cement, chemicals (including petrochemicals), primary metals and paper. Companies in energy intensive sectors almost always use energy intensity as a key performance indicator.

Energy returned on energy invested

Energy returned on energy invested (EROEI) is used in energy provider industries as a guide to the viability and profitability of a resource. In oil well development, EROEI is the energy the well will produce as end fuel, expressed as a multiple of the energy required to extract and process it.

Engineer to Order

Engineer to Order (ETO) products are built to customer specifications. The ETO approach to manufacturing is similar to Assemble to Order (ATO). ETO is often an extension to ATO, where a manufacturer can still accept orders which cannot be built from the components used for ATO – but instead of refusing the order, the manufacturer designs and makes additional components.

Other ETO environments are general job-shop operations which offer to build anything a customer has designed. Another important class of ETO is capital equipment such as equipment used in process plants, where design and manufacture of each item is often adjusted for the specific installation.

Engineering Change Order

An Engineering Change Order (ECO) is one of the documents which allows a manufacturer to control changes. If a change is necessary, an Engineering Change Request (ECR) is created. This forms the basis of analysis of the feasibility and effects of the change.

The decision whether to go ahead with the change uses these results and needs approval by all affected departments.  change. When approved, the ECR is converted into an ECO, which will define the changes, and when they will take place.

Engineering Document Management System

See Document Management System (DMS). An Engineering Document Management System (EDMS) is a DMS with additional engineering specific capabilities. These additional capabilities could include ability to handle Bill of Material; ability to handle technical files such as inputs to and outputs from manufacturing or test equipment; automation of workflows such as create a new part number or review an engineering change request; control access to documents such as recipes used for regulatory approval.

Engineering, Procurement and Construction

Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) companies provide design and build services for industrial facilities ranging from small factories to large oil refineries. Owner-Operator companies commission EPC companies to execute projects.

Enterprise integration

Enterprise integration (EI) is a broad implementation of information technology to link various functional units within a business enterprise. On a wider scale, it may also integrate strategic partners in an inter-enterprise configuration.

In a manufacturing enterprise, EI may be regarded as an extension of CIM that integrates financial or executive decision-support systems with manufacturing tracking and inventory systems, product-data management, and other information systems.

Enterprise Resource Planning

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is an umbrella term for a suite of software modules used to control a firm’s processes. ERP is considered the ‘core’ business system and underpins all of the company’s business activity, including materials management, supply-chain management, production, sales and marketing, distribution, finance, field service, and human resources.

Environmental Management System

Environmental Management System (EM) is a system to allow an organisation to demonstrate compliance with appropriate laws and regulations through both internal actions and by certification by a third party. The detailed requirements are covered in ISO14001 Environmental Management.


Ethernet, first standardized in 1983, remains the standard for local communications networks. It was developed jointly by Digital Equipment Corp., Xerox, and Intel.

The first Ethernet, based on coaxial cable, supported data at 3 megabits per second. In 2017 a standard using optical fiber for 400 gigabits per second Ethernet was approved – an increase in speed by a factor over one hundred thousand in 35 years.


Ethylene is a colorless flammable gas derived from petroleum and natural gas. Ethylene is used as an organic chemical raw material in plastics and specialty chemical products.

European Economic Community

The European Economic Community (EEC) was a forerunner of the European Union (EU). The EEC organization was absorbed into the European Union (EU) in 1993.

eXtensible Markup Language


eXtensible Markup Language (XML) is a document and data markup standard. The concept of markup is to annotate a document with information which can be recognized as separate from the document content. This allows easier transfer of documents and data between applications. XML is important for Enterprise Application Integration, and for data transfer in e-commerce.


An extranet is formed using secure, managed access to enable external participants to use an internal network. A typical example connects customers and suppliers to a corporate or plant internal network (an ‘intranet’) in order to access information deemed sharable by the intranet operators.