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Development And Implementation Of A Distributed Virtual Laboratory For Continuous Manufacturing Education And Training

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.213.1 - 5.213.11



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Paper Authors

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Therese A. Mylan

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Ravi K. Ghai

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Kim LaScola Needy

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Gary E. Rafe

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Bopaya Bidanda

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

Session 2257

Development and Implementation of a Distributed Virtual Laboratory for Continuous Manufacturing Education and Training

Gary E. Rafe, Kim LaScola Needy, Bopaya Bidanda University of Pittsburgh Ravi K. Ghai Therese A. Mylan H.B. Maynard & Company

Introduction A great deal of interest continues to be given to the potential of the global Internet to facilitate education and training in a wide range of disciplines. Following our earlier presentation of motivations for a distributed virtual laboratory (DVL),1 we consider here the development of this distributed system and the context of its deployment in the training center of a Pittsburgh- based industrial engineering consulting firm. We begin by reviewing our definition of a distributed virtual laboratory in the context of continuous education and training for manufacturing. We next describe the mostly open-source system architecture of our DVL and summarize the implementation of the system’s various components. We conclude this presentation by considering a case-study deployment of the DVL in a work measurement training course offered by H.B. Maynard and Company in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in the spring of 2000. On-going and future development efforts are identified and described.

Background In our earlier work, we defined the virtual laboratory as a “media-rich interactive environment of sufficient fidelity for conducting experimental activities associated commonly with some physical laboratory.” The primary objective for this virtual laboratory is its ability to facilitate experiential learning support for Internet-delivered education and training programs, particularly in areas associated with the manufacturing discipline. Working closely with the Pittsburgh- based H.B. Maynard and Company, we identified topics within their work measurement continuing education course offerings that could be presented using our DVL. An experimental Web-based training (WBT) player implemented as a Java applet 2 is used to deliver multi-media instructional content in the DVL, while a second applet, working in concert with software that implements the Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML)3 provides dynamic, three-dimensional representations of our laboratory environment. We discuss these in greater detail later in the paper.

Mylan, T. A., & Ghai, R. K., & LaScola Needy, K., & Rafe, G. E., & Bidanda, B. (2000, June), Development And Implementation Of A Distributed Virtual Laboratory For Continuous Manufacturing Education And Training Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8288

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