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Integrating Hands On Manufacturing Project Experience Into Manufacturing Education

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1997 Annual Conference


Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Publication Date

June 15, 1997

Start Date

June 15, 1997

End Date

June 18, 1997



Page Count


Page Numbers

2.251.1 - 2.251.5

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Paper Authors

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Sheng-Hsien (Gary) Teng

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

Session 1663

Integrating Hands-on Manufacturing Project Experience into Manufacturing Education

Sheng-Hsien (Gary) Teng Western New England College

ABSTRACT Engineers are required to obtain state-of-the-art manufacturing knowledge, people skill, information gathering ability, time and project management background, and communication skill to face the challenges on their jobs. This paper will discuss the implementation of hands-on manufacturing projects to compensate the missing training in these skills.

I. Introduction

The common requirements for manufacturing engineers are the ability to react to the problems quickly, their knowledge on the state-of-the-art technology, their ability to gather information for problem solving, their ability to manage a project, and their communication skills in coordinating activities and selling the improvement ideas. Lankard discussed three important things for students to obtain a job [1]. Basic skills provide students with job-keeping and interpersonal skills. Technical skills allow students handle technology used on the job. Apprenticeship builds the bridge between school learned knowledge and the real-world work. Grossman and Blitzer suggested strategies for career survival which include an action plan, motivation, the establishment of required skills, and the understanding of the current challenges in industry [2]. Lankard also discussed the changes required to renew a person's career which results in a new way of learning [3]. These changes are also applied to traditional undergraduate students for getting an engineering job when they graduate.

Traditional training of future manufacturing engineers is more concentrated on classroom lectures. It resulted in a more one-way communication environment---professors feed information to the students. It is difficult to provide students adequate training in people and culture related problem solving. To include the required training to the manufacturing program, extra elements have to be added to compensate the weakness of classroom lectures. One tool can be used in the curriculum is the hands-on manufacturing projects.

The types of manufacturing projects being used for hands-on training can be a term project, a month long project assigned during the class period, a short term manufacturing laboratory project associated with a manufacturing course, stand-along short term manufacturing laboratory projects, and an individual project such as a senior project. Internship and co-op programs can be another ways to provide students the hands-on manufacturing project experiences.

Teamwork, project scheduling, developing feasible alternatives, and the selling of the project result are some of the key factors in finishing a manufacturing project and should be the heart of project evaluation. This paper will show the overall procedure in embedding hands-on projects into manufacturing education. The importance of this approach and the pros and cons of the approach will be discussed.

Teng, S. G. (1997, June), Integrating Hands On Manufacturing Project Experience Into Manufacturing Education Paper presented at 1997 Annual Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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