Value Engineering in Pollution Control Applications

Value Engineering (VE) is a process wherein the function of a product is analyzed in order to improve the function or reduce the cost, thereby increasing the product’s value.  The concept was developed originally by General Electric in World War II when the company was forced to seek acceptable substitutes to original concepts, due to labor and material shortages.  Since then, the method has been continually improved and today VE is considered essential to project planning.  The United States government requires all Federal agencies to maintain a VE program and applies VE extensively in its acquisition programs.

VE is typically performed by following a multi-stage job plan. The VE program used by BCE has six steps, generally described as follows:

1) Information
The project is studied and the requirements for the project are defined.

2) Analysis
A determination is made of the important or desirable functions and an analysis of these functions is performed.  In the analysis, an understanding is obtained of what the object must do, must not do, could do, should do, etc.

3) Creation
Ideas are generated about the possible alternative ways the requirements could be met or the functions performed.

4) Evaluation
The ideas are assessed for how well each would meet the required or desirable functions and at what cost.

5) Development
The best ideas for improving value are selected.

6) Presentation
The best alternative(s) are presented for final decision to the end user.