San Antonio, Texas
June 10, 2012
June 10, 2012
June 13, 2012
Engineering Management, Systems Engineering, Engineering Economy, and Industrial Engineering
25.220.1 - 25.220.15
Maintaining quality Industrial Technology (IT) or manufacturing programs require institutionalsupport, dedicated faculty and students, and specialized equipment to provide immersiveexperiences. However, the cost of updating or replacing outdated and unsafe equipment presentsa unique challenge for educational institutions faced with stagnant or decreasing budgets. Doingmore with less has become the mantra of leaders at the national, regional, and local levels buthow to accomplish this presents a dilemma for academicians at all levels. Manufacturingprogram typically utilize a wide variety of industrial equipment that run the gamut fromautomated to manually operated systems. These units not only require large spaces in buildings,they are also costly to operate and maintain. Faced with these challenges, institutions will have toadapt and innovate by pursue alternative and creative approaches to educating 21 st centurystudents. Two approaches were examined in a recent study: 1. Find alternative but less costlyequipment to provide students with the necessary skill-sets needed to ensure their success in theworld of work, and 2. Assess faculty and industry acceptance of other types or classes ofequipment as viable substitutes to their large-scale industrial cousins. A study was conductedinto the use of bench-top metal lathes in a post-secondary educational institution. A metal lathewas chosen over other machine tools primarily due to its multipurpose nature and ability toprovide hand-on experiences in a variety of applications, e.g. milling, drilling, and grinding. Theresults of the study demonstrated that there were no significant differences in tolerances achievedfrom bench-top metal lathes when compared to their large scale industrial cousins. In addition,faculty and industry acceptance of bench-top metal lathes indicated that the majority of theseindividuals found the bench top metal lathe to be an acceptable substitute to full size lathes in thelaboratory settings.
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