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Integrating Plm Methods Into The Undergraduate Curriculum

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Teaching Design

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.764.1 - 9.764.15

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Paper Authors

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Russell Frame

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

Session 2125

Integrating PLM Methods into the Undergraduate Curriculum

Russell T. Frame, Charles Pezeshki, M. Grant Norton School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164


The methodology used to design new products is changing as computer technology advances. Companies worldwide are adopting Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions to stay competitive. This technology allows control of all aspects of the design process from initial concept to obsolescence and disposal. A database manages all information, controls access to data, and lets diverse businesses participate in the supply chain. Companies in the US must implement these methods to remain competitive. Universities need to integrate PLM methods into their curricula to supply graduates with relevant skills.

Universities will face challenges implementing PLM into their curricula. Since PLM is a rapidly emerging technology, traditional academic materials do not exist. Assessment of the skills gained by students will be difficult since PLM is a design methodology, not a specific skill. Finally, PLM methods must span the entire curriculum, not be the subject of discrete classes. WSU is currently developing a test curriculum with a select group of students. Future curriculum modification will utilize information from this group. Anticipated modifications include illustrating the applicability of core skills within PLM, transferring student-generated models from class to class to demonstrate new concepts using familiar material, and emphasizing PLM methods in design classes. The final assessment of PLM skills will be based on designs presented by student groups. Additionally, WSU will obtain complex models from industrial partners to expose the students to “real world” engineering practices and solutions. Our goal is to produce students familiar with PLM who will be competitive in the job market.

A Brief History of PLM

Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) methods are a direct descendent of industrial trends started in the United States directly following World War II. During the war, most of the industrial capability of the Axis (Japan, Italy, and Germany) was destroyed. After the armistice, the Allies (the US, Great Britain, and France) rebuilt the industrial base in the defeated nations so that both their local economies and the overall world economy would grow and flourish. The facilities built were brand new and state- of-the art, so the newest methodologies were implemented during plant design and business planning.

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering

Frame, R. (2004, June), Integrating Plm Methods Into The Undergraduate Curriculum Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah.

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