Value engineering is systematic approach to help improve the "value" of a given process. Value is usually defined as the ratio of function to cost. Value can be increased by either improving the function or reducing the cost. It is a primary tenet of value engineering that basic functions be preserved and not be compromised in this pursuit.
The objective of value engineering is as follows: if a client anticipates a research program to be of a short duration, the specifications of equipment and materials of construction may be optimized for that program. If the research program is of a longer duration wherein the pilot plant not only provides process data but also long term product optimization, it may be necessary to utilize a different design basis and materials of construction.