Manufacturing descriptive representations are holistic descriptions of individual parts such that the part (system) can be manufactured quite independently of the entirety of the Enterprise. The description of the part must be complete, “holistic,” because any characteristic that is requisite to the existence of the part, if not made explicit, is potentially defective. That is, any characteristic not made explicit is implicit and therefore, assumptions are being made which may be right ... or may be wrong. Erroneous assumptions are the sources of defects.
Manufacturing descriptive representations can conveniently be classified in ONE dimension; a taxonomy, a hierarchy, a decomposition, which is, reductionism, (“analysis”). It is convenient for manufacturing to reduce the size of the parts through decomposition because the smaller the part, the less costly and more quickly each part can be manufactured. However, the smaller the implemented parts (systems) the more potential disintegration of the Enterprise as a whole.
Engineering descriptions are the converse of manufacturing descriptions. They are descriptive of the whole object, partitioned not by reduction but by intrinsic characteristic. The engineering descriptions are classified in a TWO dimensional structure, a schema, an ontology, such that the whole object is depicted in the context of each single, intrinsic characteristic. The descriptive classifications for engineering employment are “normalized” ... “one fact in one place.” This is important for engineering so that redundancies, potential discontinuities, inconsistencies, incompatibilities, erroneous assumptions are identified and eliminated and therefore, every relevant characteristic is “integrated” in the context of the whole Enterprise (“synthesis”). In this fashion, if the implemented parts reuse components having characteristics that are integrated in the context of the whole Enterprise, the parts (systems), when implemented, will fit together, that is, the Enterprise will be "architected."
See figure above for a comparison of Manufacturing Work and Engineering Work.
This engineering : manufacturing dichotomy can be seen the older disciplines. In Chemistry, the Chemical Engineering work is scientific, theoretical, focused on the single-variable theoretical elements as defined in the ontological structure of the Periodic Table. Chemical Manufacturing work is pragmatic, focused on assembling chemical products from multi-variable, holistic (in their own right) compounds (parts) that exist in nature or that can be created experientially. If no Chemical Engineering is done, alchemists can manufacture chemical products from compounds (parts) only if, by chance, the compounds (parts) “fit together,” that is, if they will “integrate.” Since the alchemists’ work is pragmatic, experiential, not theoretical, all progress is made by time-consuming, trial and error, (“best practices”) which severely limits the complexity and alacrity of the end results.
This can be seen in engineering and manufacturing of electrical and mechanical products as well. The engineering artifacts are descriptive of the whole object in the context of each single, intrinsic characteristic of the object. The manufacturing artifacts are descriptive of the total set of characteristics required for the implementation of a single “part” of the object.
I happened to discover the ontological classification of the Engineering Design Artifacts of an Enterprise, the “Zachman Framework,” by observing this pattern of descriptive representations in Architecture and Construction (buildings), and in Engineering and Manufacturing (airplanes, computers, ships, automobiles, etc.). I have written numerous articles and made a myriad of presentations about this experience and about the logic of the Framework for Enterprise Architecture, the Enterprise Ontology, the “Zachman Framework”.