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Assessing the Viability of Bench Top Versus Full-scale Industrial Lathes to Teach Fundamental Machining Concepts

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Technology and Equipment to Improve IE Instruction

Tagged Divisions

Engineering Management, Systems Engineering, Engineering Economy, and Industrial Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.220.1 - 25.220.15



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Paper Authors


Dave Yearwood University of North Dakota

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Dave Yearwood is an Associate Professor and Chair in the Technology Department at the University of North Dakota. Yearwood has been teaching in higher education for 22 years, and his experience reaches across two academic tracks—technology and higher education—where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses. Yearwood was presented with the Outstanding Teacher Award in the College of Business and Public Administration (CoBPA) on two occasions, earned the coveted Combined Teaching, Service, and Scholarship Award (CoBPA), and was nominated at the university level for outstanding graduate and undergraduate teaching awards. In 2009, Yearwood was one of four professors recognized nationally by the Association of Technology, Management and Applied Engineering (ATMAE) as Outstanding Professor in the areas of teaching, research, and service. The Technology (formerly Industrial Technology) program is housed in the College of Business and Public Administration at the University of North Dakota. The program is accredited by the ATMAE.

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Alex Johnson University of North Dakota

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Alex Johnson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Technology at the University of North Dakota. He earned his B.S. from the University of North Dakota, his M.S. degree from the University of North Dakota (industrial technology, 2001), and a Ph.D. (teaching & learning, 2010) from the University of North Dakota. Johnson’s research interests are in engineering and technology education, manufacturing processes, and small wind turbine technology. Johnson may be reached at

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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.

Yearwood, D., & Johnson, A. (2012, June), Assessing the Viability of Bench Top Versus Full-scale Industrial Lathes to Teach Fundamental Machining Concepts Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--20980

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