What Is an Engineering Flowchart?
This is a type of flowchart that specifically outlines procedures found in various engineering work--such as civil engineering, electrical engineering, computer engineering, and so on. According to the Houston Chronicle (a US-based publication), flowcharts are widely used in all kinds of industries due to how it presents even a detailed or complicated process into a more digestible format.
How to Make an Engineering Flowchart
A flowchart is fairly simple for anyone to put together on their own. But, if you don’t know how to get started, then simply have a look at our tips found just below!
1. The Most Common Shapes for Your Engineering Flowchart
There are plenty of different engineering processes that a flowchart is used for, from manufacturing to maintenance. However, before creating your own diagram, it’s important that you remember the five most commonly used symbols in a flowchart, each with their own meaning. These symbols are the oval, rectangle, parallelogram, diamond, and arrow.
2. The Starting Point of Your Engineering Flowchart
After opening a new document in your chosen processing software, add the title at the very top. This denotes the type of flowchart you’re making, like “Mechanical Maintenance Flow” or “New Software Technology Testing.”
Next, add an oval as your flowchart’s first shape. This symbol represents the very beginning of your engineering flow or process, as well as the end. Add an appropriate label within the shape (as well as the other shapes to follow).
3. The Steps within the Engineering Flowchart
The various steps in your chart are represented by rectangles and parallelograms. Rectangles contain all the different actions in the flowchart. Actions can lead to other actions.
In regards to an input or output, that’s where you use a parallelogram. Inputs are items that go into actions, while outputs are results that come from actions. A parallelogram can be both an input and output, placed in-between two actions.
4. Flow and Decisions in Your Engineering Flowchart
In many flowcharts, there are steps where one or more decisions are made. These decisions result in branching paths that are either completely separate from each other or meet up in a step later on. So, insert diamonds into your own document to represent these decisions.
Finally, use arrows for directing the flow of your engineering process. Have the arrows point in the flow’s direction, positioning them in-between each step. And, when a step loops back to the chart’s beginning oval, use an arrow to represent that as well.
So long as you remember our comprehensive tips, creating an engineering flowchart from scratch is a cinch. And, if you’d like customizable samples for your work, then go ahead and take your pick from our Engineering Flowchart Templates!
How do you define a flowchart?
A flowchart is defined by its use of universally understood symbols in explaining how a process flows and functions.
Which engineering fields use flowcharts?
Every form of engineering benefits from using flowcharts to simplify workflows--be it in machinery, computers, or construction.
What non-illustration applications do I use to make an engineering flowchart?
Certain productivity applications (like Google Docs and Apple Pages) have drawing and shape tools that are usable for making an engineering flowchart.
Who introduced the earliest form of flowcharts?
Frank and Lillian Gilbreth were credited for first introducing the flowchart back in 1921.
What are the major types of flowcharts?
The major types of flowcharts are:
- Data flowcharts
- Process flowcharts
- Swimlane flowcharts
- Workflow charts