June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
26.564.1 - 26.564.14
Early Incorporation of Design for Manufacturing in the Engineering CurriculumDesign for manufacturing (DFM) and/or concurrent engineering has been a focus for engineeringeducators and industry partners for decades. The efforts throughout the engineering communitieshave resulted in improvements in methods, training, and software. Largely thanks to theperformance of DFM ready engineers, there have been notable improvements in profitability anddesign cycle lead time [1,2]. However, the trend toward urbanization and reduction in secondaryeducation shop classes has made DFM training at the post-secondary level more challenging.Specifically, engineering freshmen are less likely to have hand skills or familiarity withmanufacturing equipment than previous generations [3,4,5,6].This paper describes a mechanical engineering department curriculum developed to provideDFM and manufacturing training in the freshman year. Skills obtained in the freshman year aresubsequently demonstrated in the sophomore year via a significant product design anddevelopment project. This curriculum provides underclassmen the opportunity to develop afundamental understanding of DFM and to build upon this understanding through applicationlater in the curriculum including senior capstone design. The goal is a more industry-readygraduate who has an understanding of the principle of “first time right” and who has theconfidence to address the increasingly complex issues arising in engineering design in the globalmanufacturing arena.The approach described in this paper is a three course series. The first course in the freshmenyear establishes fundamental mechanical engineering principles, including a focus on problemsolving skills and specialized design tools (e.g., CAD/CAM).The second course in the freshman year develops manufacturing skills including work-placesafety, lean manufacturing, and the philosophy of first-time-right while providing students withhands-on training in woodworking, light metalworking, manual milling, manual lathe work andComputer Numerical Control (CNC) machining. The intent is not to train engineering studentsto be machinists but rather to give them an understanding of fundamental manufacturingprocesses. Each student must complete an individual design project and be part of a design teamon a CNC project. These projects require that the students complete fully dimensioned andtoleranced engineering drawings and a work order including material selection and a plannedbuild process.The third course in the sophomore year is a product development course focused on sustainableenergy. The lecture content includes renewable and sustainable fossil and nuclear energy. Thestudents complete a supporting lab series including solar, wind, fuel cell and hydroelectricexperiments. During the last half of the course the students design, build, and test an energyrelated product of their own invention receiving guidance and critique throughout the process.The design build section relies heavily on DFM skills developed in the freshman year.The coherence of these three courses has yielded positive results. Material waste has dropped offsignificantly and the quality of the manufacturing (student builds) has increased significantly as aresult of more complete and accurate prints and part build plans. The students have shown anincreased understanding of the build process and more confidence with making design decisions.The project results have been impressive, including novel designs for sterling motors, counterrotating windmills, a solar charging cell phone case utilizing additive manufacturing, and others.The student presentations often highlight the value of material selection; build plans, completedrawings and proper tolerancing.Future plans include facilitate increased student machine time in the DFM lab as well as thedevelopment of a junior level course including a more significant product development andlarger scale laboratory work focused on sustainable energy. This is expected to build on thecurrent series and feed directly into the senior capstone design course.The paper will discuss the instructional approaches developed over the last 2 years, projectexamples, as well as semester-by-semester assessment results.Bibliography 1. Cooper, Robin. Kaplan, Robert S. “Profit Priorities from Activity-Based Costing”. Harvard Business Review. PP 130-135. May-June 1991. 2. Charney, Cyril. “Time to Market: Reducing Product Lead Time”. Society of Manufacturing Engineers. 1991. 3. “Vocational Education in the United States: The Early 1990s”. Institute of Education Sciences. U.S. Dept. of Education. 4. “Reality Check: The U.S. Job Market and Students' Academy and Career Paths Necessitate Enhanced Vocational Education in High Schools”. NFA Research. March 2012. 5. Sirkin, Harold L. “To Ease the Skills Shortage, Bring Back the Vocational High School”. Bloomberg Business Week, March 2013. 6. Hobbs, Frank. Stoops, Nicole. “Demographic Trends in the 20th Century, Census 2000 Special Reports” November 2002.
Lalley, A., & Bedillion, M. D., & Langerman, M., & Korde, U. A. (2015, June), Early Incorporation of Design for Manufacturing in the Engineering Curriculum Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23902
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