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A Coordinated Approach In Design And Manufacturing Activity

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1997 Annual Conference


Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Publication Date

June 15, 1997

Start Date

June 15, 1997

End Date

June 18, 1997



Page Count


Page Numbers

2.8.1 - 2.8.6



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Paper Authors

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Ratan Kumar

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Phillip R. Foster

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George W. Watt

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2247

A Coordinated Approach in Design and Manufacturing Activity Ratan Kumar, George W. Watt and Phillip R. Foster Department of Engineering Technology The University of North Texas, Denton, TX 76203


This paper describes a concurrent effort in teaching activities undertaken by the Manufacturing, and Mechanical Engineering Technology programs at the University of North Texas. The change is necessitated by a call from industry to prepare students to work in an environment where products are designed and manufactured utilizing concurrent engineering practices. The integrated approach employed helps the students to grasp the discussed subject matter in a consolidated manner and offers them a real world challenge since they need to complete a job within a time constraint, participate in groups, work within limited resources, and produce a useful product for the society. The department for only the cost of materials, tools, coolant, etc. gets high quality test specimens and testing devices.


Concurrent Engineering and Management practices are widely prevalent in industry. They utilize the concepts of multifunctional teams and parallel development to reduce the time from concept to market for a product. Rather than developing the product linearly, various tasks are performed simultaneously. Marketers, designers and manufacturers come together to form multifunctional teams. As a unit, they are able to use their varied experiences to anticipate problems and solve them before delays occur in the project. Before concurrent engineering became accepted, many companies used an organizational structure with independent departments. The designers would toss their ideas “over the wall” to manufacturers. The manufacturers would then add ideas and pass the information to another department. Time-consuming disagreements often arose because each department was trying to satisfy different goals. This process proved to be slow, costly and extended the time needed to develop new products. Concurrent practices overcome these difficulties.

At the ASEE 1996 College Industry Education Conference1 the Aerospace Industry identified three disturbing shortcomings common among new engineering hires which are summarized below: (1) New hires require excessively long apprenticeships (3-5 years) before becoming productive. (2) Few engineering graduates know how to work in groups or how to manufacture anything. Even fewer understand the process of large-scale, complex system integration that is so common in industry. (3) Often the students with the highest GPAs are those that are least prepared to work cooperatively in teams to engineer and integrate complex systems.

Kumar, R., & Foster, P. R., & Watt, G. W. (1997, June), A Coordinated Approach In Design And Manufacturing Activity Paper presented at 1997 Annual Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 10.18260/1-2--6471

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