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Digital Manufacturing And Simulation Curriculum

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

CAD/CAM in Manufacturing Education

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

13.437.1 - 13.437.12



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Paper Authors


Paul Nutter Ohio Northern University

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Paul Nutter, CMfgE, CQE, CQA, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Technological Studies at Ohio Northern University. He has been teaching industrial technology since 2000, and has 26 years experience in manufacturing and industrial engineering, primarily with Rockwell Automotive. Paul is active in the Society of Manufacturing Engineers as faculty advisor for SME Student Chapter S186, and has served on the 2007 SME Simulation Technical Group (chair), on the 2006 SME Member Council, and the 2005 Student Relations Subcommittee (chair).

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

Digital Manufacturing and Simulation Curriculum


Ohio Northern University is in the tenth year of a curriculum utilizing advanced industrial computer simulation software. The virtual simulation classes are offered in a sequence of three quarters, earning four credits per quarter. Students learn specific simulation applications from tutorials and online course materials. Teams of students then work with local companies to create simulation models of actual manufacturing operations. Each student team prepares PowerPoint materials which are presented to representatives of the company. Recent projects included work with major automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and suppliers, along with a major defense-industry company. This paper and presentation includes examples of simulations and the results of the students’ analysis of the operations.

The simulation applications used in these industrial projects include robotic workcell processing, assembly sequencing, ergonomics analysis, and discrete event materials/process flow studies. This curriculum has also provided an opportunity for integration of several technologies and manufacturing management aspects into application-based environments, including 3-D CAD modelling, robotics, and production system design. Students gain skills and experience in teamwork, project planning, problem solving, and formal multi-media presentations in industrial environments. Benefits include exposure to in-plant manufacturing operations, and the opportunity to personally deal with company professionals. Students have obtained coop/internship positions, and graduates are finding simulation jobs in the fields of manufacturing and applications engineering.

Defining Digital Manufacturing and Simulation

Digital manufacturing (DM) encompasses a variety of computer applications and processes that are being embraced by companies of all sizes to remain competitive in the global market. Boeing is recognized for its design of the entire 777 airliner without using a single 2-D drawing—only 3D models were used. 1

One definition is “Digital manufacturing is the ability to describe every aspect of the design-to- manufacture process digitally—using tools that include digital design, CAD, Office documents, PLM systems, analysis software, simulation, CAM software and so on.” 2

“Digital Manufacturing provides manufacturing and design engineers the benefit of enhanced visualization. In product design, powerful tools are frequently available for developing electronic product mockups, allowing engineers and non-engineers alike the ability to interact with a product before the design has been committed. Tools that allow 3D visualization replace sketches and drawings with something that comes much closer to the real world. By simulating the actual product that will be produced, countless mistakes are avoided and many improvements made.

Nutter, P. (2008, June), Digital Manufacturing And Simulation Curriculum Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3457

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