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Teaching An Advanced Processes Course Using An Industry Project

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.527.1 - 3.527.5

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Karen E. Schmahl

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

Session 3263


Karen E. Schmahl Miami University

A semester-long course in advanced manufacturing processes can barely scratch the surface in teaching students the many emerging technologies. An alternative approach to such a course has the students learning a single process very well, thus “learning what is takes to learn” a new process. This knowledge can then be applied to any process encountered. Senior students in Miami University’s Manufacturing Engineering program were given the opportunity to work with a local business while learning specific processes. In preparation for implementation of a new computer aided process planning (CAPP) system, the business required development of standardized practices for several advanced processes.


The Miami University, School of Applied Science has an ABET accredited Bachelor of Science program in Manufacturing Engineering. Approximately one hundred and forty students are enrolled in the program. The students take a three-course progressive sequence in manufacturing processes. Basic processes are introduced in the sophomore year, with following courses expanding upon the basics, introducing advanced processes, and teaching other pertinent engineering topics.

In the Advanced Manufacturing Processes II course, senior-level students are expected to apply process tooling and quality knowledge gained in previous courses to the planning of component manufacture and assembly of a product. A few new processes are introduced to the students through use of standard lectures. The design exercise traditionally employed in the class involves use of teams which develop different aspects of planning which must coordinate with each other to ensure a viable set of plans for the overall product.

There are several drawbacks to this traditional method of instruction. Laboratory facilities are not available to give the students hands-on experience with the advanced processes that they are studying. Selection of the technologies to include in the course was an issue as the actual needs of the department’s students were dependent on the industry in which they obtained a job upon graduation. The students in the course tended to gain only a cursory knowledge of several advanced technologies. The process plans prepared in the course project were at a relatively high level. In addition, all aspects of the process planning for the design project are performed in a paper-based mode and in relative isolation when considering the impact and links of process planning beyond the process selection.

An alternate approach to the course was explored to address these drawbacks. It was decided that future employers would benefit if students “learned how to learn” a process in an actual industry environment. In addition, a computer-aided process planning approach would retain all

Schmahl, K. E. (1998, June), Teaching An Advanced Processes Course Using An Industry Project Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington.

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