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Engaging Engineering Technology Students Using A Coordinate Measuring Machine

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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

Industry Collaborations in Engineering Technology

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.493.1 - 13.493.8



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Paper Authors


Wesley Stone Western Carolina University

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Wes Stone is an Assistant Professor of Engineering Technology at Western Carolina University. He earned his B.S. at the University of Texas at Austin, his M.S. at Penn State University, and his Ph.D. at the Georgia Institute of Technology. His industrial experience includes manufacturing and Six Sigma quality, which are current areas of interest. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in solid mechanics, quality, and numerical methods at Western Carolina.

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Larry Smith Western Carolina University

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Larry Smith is a senior seeking his Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology at Western Carolina University. He has extensive experience in manufacturing.

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

Engaging Engineering Technology Students using a Coordinate Measuring Machine


Western Carolina University’s Engineering Technology program prepares its students for a variety of industrial careers. Part of this preparation is based on the engage ment model that pairs students with real- life industrial projects, benefiting both the student and the industrial partner. Haldex Hydraulics Corporation is a company that makes internal gear hydraulic pumps in Statesville, NC. The complex geometry of the ir pump housings creates a difficulty in verifying that dimensions are being maintained in the production process. In an effort to verify dimensional accuracy and to build a strong relationship with WCU, Haldex sent two different sets of pump housings and the corresponding gears for verification on WCU’s coordinate measuring machine (CMM), a Zeiss Contura HTG. With over 200,000 in worldwide use, CMMs provide the flexible gauging and high precision required for today’s stringent quality requirements. Using an undergraduate student’s independent study project as the platform, these pump housings were checked against the engineering print for 42 dimensional requirements for one housing part number and 38 for the other. Considering the process capability index, Cp , as the primary tool measure of Haldex’s ability to achieve Six Sigma (6σ) quality, the results from this study indicate a need for improvement: only one feature exceeded the Cp value of 2.0 required to claim 6σ quality with the average being 0.605, a level equivalent to 1.8-sigma. While this falls short of their goals, the results provided Haldex with the critical information they require to progress toward their goal of Six Sigma quality, and that same data set supplied valuable data to teach 6σ topics to Quality Systems, a junior- level Engineering Technology course. The hydraulic pump housing data set illustrates the use of the Six Sigma tools on a hands-on subject, which these ET students thrive on, as they prepare for their careers in manufacturing, design, quality, technical sales, and many others.


Situated in the mountains of western North Carolina, Western Carolina University (WCU) is a comprehensive state university with approximately 9,000 undergraduate and graduate students. With a mission to engage with regional industry, the Engineering and Technology Department has built relationships with industrial partners such as Caterpillar, ConMet, Volvo, Blue Ridge Paper, and many more. This engagement effort has produced benefits that span all parties involved, including students, faculty, university, and industrial partners. The students have gotten real- life, industrial, hands-on projects that expose them to the challenges that they will face after graduation; they have also been exposed to potential employers through their project. The engagement model has benefited the involved faculty by exposing them to current industry needs, and keeping their skill set up-to-date.1 The university has received a great deal of positive publicity through the exposure of industry to the facilities and human resources on campus. Industrial partners have seen benefits in several modes: they have received technical assistance at little or no cost to the company, while gaining exposure to a multitude of students, potentially

Stone, W., & Smith, L. (2008, June), Engaging Engineering Technology Students Using A Coordinate Measuring Machine Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--4021

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