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Incorporating Descriptive Simulation of Integrated Manufacturing Systems to an Engineering Technology Capstone Course

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Strategies for Effective Education in Manufacturing

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Paper Authors


Yuqiu You Ohio University

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Dr. YUQIU YOU is an Associate Professor of Engineering Technology and Management at Ohio University. She earned her B.E. degree from HuaZhong University of Science and Technology in China, MS from Morehead State University of Morehead, KY, and Ph.D. (Technology Management with the concentration in manufacturing systems, 2006) from Indiana State University. Dr. You is currently teaching at Ohio University. Her interests are in computer-integrated manufacturing, automation control, and remote control systems. Dr. You may be reached at

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Neil Littell Ohio University

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Dr. W. Neil Littell is an Assistant Professor at Ohio University within the Russ College of Engineering in the department of Engineering Technology and Management. Dr. Littell earned a Doctorate of Philosophy in Instructional Systems and Workforce Development (2013) from Mississippi State University. Dr. Littell also received a Masters in Technology from Mississippi State University (2005). Additionally, he holds Bachelor of Science degrees in both Industrial Technology and Trade and Technical Studies from Mississippi State University (2004). Dr. Littell also has an Associate of Applied Science degree in Drafting and Design from Holmes Community College (2002).

Dr. Littell is an accomplished manager with more than 10 years of experience providing results-oriented leadership. His previous positions include the PLM Coordinator at the Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems at Mississippi State University from 2004-2008. He was Director at Large for COE, the World’s largest users group of Dassault Systemès PLM products from 2008 to 2012, where he was acknowledged with the BJ Fries Award of Merit for making balanced contributions to the organization's activities and growth. His most recent position was as the Engineering Program Manager and CAD/PLM Administrator at Viking Range LLC, located in Greenwood, Mississippi from 2008 to May 2014.

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Manufacturing systems are becoming more autonomous, requiring less operator intervention in daily operations. This is a consequence of today’s market conditions, characterized by global competition, a strong pressure for better quality at lower prices, and products defined in part by the end-user. Manufacturing engineers need to integrate isolated manufacturing operations with the objective of extracting from them the most flexibility and productivity they can offer by using various technologies. There is a need to introduce the principles and practice of integrated manufacturing systems into an Engineering Technology Program which has most of the students pursuing their future careers in manufacturing industry.

The Engineering and Technology department at a midsized University hosts a senior capstone course, which operates within a team centric manufacturing environment. This course couples an operations management course with an opportunity for the students to apply the skills they have acquired through partial completion of the program to pursue the design, development, and manufacturing launch of a new product. Course requirements dictate that students create a functional physical prototype. And they are required to design, build and validate all of the required manufacturing fixtures for use during the production of their product. The student design teams execute a pilot production run using the fixtures and then refine the manufacturing and production process to efficiently produce the products. The capstone course ends with a six-hour production run, where the students build between 15 and 21 products. To incorporate the practice of integrated manufacturing systems into this course, students are required to design, simulate and analyze a fully automated production line for their products which includes production stations, material hanlding systems, storage systems, motion controllers, sensors, and robots. The system will be simulated and analyzed using ARENA software or Simulmatik software. At the same time, this project will also explore the possibility of incorporating a real CIM cell for student product run based on hardware and software requirements.

This paper will demonstrate the design of the new capstone course activities, scheduling, and assessment. And a comparison between the ARENA and Simulmatik will be conducted based on process simulation, evaluation method, and interfacing with physical hardware components. This project will provide a strategy and case study in incorporating manufacturing automation and integration to Engineering Technology programs for students to gain hands-on and software simulation and modeling experiences. And exploring the possibility of establishing real CIM cells for the capsone projects will be evaluated and discussed.

You, Y., & Littell, N. (2017, June), Incorporating Descriptive Simulation of Integrated Manufacturing Systems to an Engineering Technology Capstone Course Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28505

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