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Cim On Wheels: An Innovative Educational Tool

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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

2.100.1 - 2.100.9



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Paper Authors

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Jian Edward Zhang

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Lucy King

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

Session 1663

CIM on WHEELS: An Innovative Educational Tool

Lucy Siu-Bik King and Jian Edward Zhang GMI Engineering & Management Institute

I. Abstract CIM on WHEELS is a mini-integrated design and manufacturing, computer controlled laboratory, set up in a trailer with wide-open side and rear doors. The overall dimension for the trailer is 16' x 8'. Observers and operators will be stationed outside the trailer. The equipment and trailer have been purchased with funds from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), TRW corporation, GMI matching funds, and contributions from many industrial companies. All equipment, activities and processes are under the supervision and control of a "supervisory" computer. CIM on WHEELS illustrates the concepts of streamlined engineering, from design to process planning to production. The GOAL is to provide a practical media for courses on CIM (computer integrated manufacturing) at GMI, seminars and workshops off-campus at various sectors of the community, technical or academic. The OBJECTIVES for this setup are to provide demonstrations and hands-on experience for students at GMI, for pre- college students and for small industrial personnel at off-campus sites. GMI students are required to present,demonstrate and teach the components of CIM which they have learned in class, to off- campus audience. This allows them to obtain a deeper understanding of the topics. It will also give them the opportunity to play mentoring roles to the younger students. The CIM on WHEELS was displayed at SME-AutoFACT ’96 Exhibition in Cobo Hall, Detroit, Michigan, November 12-14, 1996.

II. Introduction CIM on Wheels (CIMoW) provides a facility for capstone hands-on projects in the CIM and Robotics courses to enhance the standard of education at GMI and better prepare the graduates for the highly technical, automated work environment of the future. It furnishes an arena for the integration of CIM fundamental principles and technology. "...workers must have a unique mix of competencies, knowledge and skills...", Carnevale states 1. Educational institutes must "...take the lead in developing new education and training models ... that will keep the American workforce up to world-class standards" 2. Since manufacturing creates 40% - 70% of the real wealth of the nation, the demand for a new breed of manufacturing engineers is high 3. The key factor in developing new laboratories and courses is to face the challenge of serious needs for knowledge synthesis and retention of the integration of various disciplines. An integrated multi-disciplinary experience is definitely necessary for today’s engineers. Some Japanese higher educational institutions 4,5 and European colleges and universities 6 offer such courses at different levels. There are a number of existing prominant mobile manufacturing laboratories. However, they contain islands of automation. None of them provide integrated hierarchical and sensor feedback control. The National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS) has a Mobile Lab in which there are NC machines and robots that are driven by computers but the flow from one


Zhang, J. E., & King, L. (1997, June), Cim On Wheels: An Innovative Educational Tool Paper presented at 1997 Annual Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 10.18260/1-2--6451

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