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Micro Manufacturing In The Classroom And Laboratory

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Emerging Technologies in Manufacturing Education II

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Page Count


Page Numbers

12.1063.1 - 12.1063.14



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David Wells North Dakota State University

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

Micro-Manufacturing in the Classroom and Laboratory David L. Wells, PhD, CMfgE Professor, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering North Dakota State University

Abstract: The products that occupy the attention of manufacturing engineers can be separated, in one context, into three categories, determined by geometric dimensions: ordinary or customary; very small; very large. The engineering challenges of manufacturing parts in customary dimensions have migrated, in large part, from the technological into the arena of lean thinking.

The technological frontiers of manufacturing, in the early portion of the 21st century, lie in the very small and the very large. It is arguable that manufacturing in the very large is a mostly straight-forward extension of how we make parts of ordinary size, albeit with significant challenges of scale and rate. In the micro- and nano-realms, however, the technology is most-definitely-not a simple extension of the well-known. Here, the governing physics are different, new or vastly modified processes are required, and fixturing, gauging and assembly demand completely different approaches. Innovation rules. And applications of products centered on micro- and nano-technologies are now the fastest-growing segment of commerce. Hundreds of nano-enabled new products appear every year. Thus, one of the critical challenges of manufacturing engineering education is to devise means of introducing knowledge of processes and production for fabrication at micro- and nano-dimensions.

This paper opens with a brief summary of sub-millimeter and sub-micron manufacturing and assembly processes, both in research laboratory and in factory. Then, an assessment of micro-machining processes is presented, paired with representative applications. The paper concludes with an outline and critique of a new course in mechanical micro- machining initiated by the author.

A View of the Landscape of Manufacturing Technology: New technology in manufacturing is migrating to the very large and the very small. Technological innovations are essential for manufacturing companies to maintain a competitive edge with aggressive firms in Europe, Asia and, increasingly, Latin America. While there remains much mileage in lean enterprise methodologies, those methods essentially address existing and mature manufacturing technologies. The lean mantra concentrates attention on more effective utilization of existing and established manufacturing technologies. Technological innovation is, typically, incremental, rather than dramatic.

Established manufacturing technologies are available to anyone. Factories anywhere in the world can acquire even the most advanced machine tools based on mature technologies. The principles and practices of lean thinking are published in enormous variety. Pursuing this logic,

Wells, D. (2007, June), Micro Manufacturing In The Classroom And Laboratory Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--1514

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