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The Engineering Economics Case Study At Greenfield Coalition

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Real-World Manufacturing Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.1146.1 - 7.1146.11



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Paper Authors

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Syed Azmat

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Snehamay Khasnabis

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Richard Darin Ellis

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Pratap Srinivasa Murthy

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Frank Plonka

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Diane M. Schuch-Miller

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

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The Engineering Economics Case Study at Greenfield Coalition Francis E. Plonka, Diane M. Schuch-Miller, Syed Khusro Azmat, Pratap S. Murthy, Snehamay Khasnabis, R. Darin Ellis Wayne State University/Greenfield Coalition/Wayne State University/ Wayne State University/Wayne State University/Wayne State University

Abstract -The Greenfield Coalition (GC) located at the Focus:HOPE Center for Advanced Technologies (CAT) and funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) offers a Manufacturing Engineering Program that integrates academic work with manufacturing skills learned in the workplace. Engineering Economics has been designed as an eight-module, three- credit course. The first seven modules present the basic fundamentals necessary to make investment decisions. The purpose of this paper is to describe the eighth module, which requires students to demonstrate their understanding of the principles on a real life engineering investment analysis case study. The case study deals with the manufacturing of pulleys involved in the balancing operation of machine components. Because of some malfunctioning in the balancing operation, the manufacturer is faced with a high percentage of scrap. The analysis involves the identification and evaluation of alternate strategies for meeting a projected market demand, as specified in probabilistic terms, leading to the recommendation of a specific strategy. A decision tree was developed depicting various alternatives along with their respective returns. Additionally, a sensitivity analysis is presented to demonstrate the possible impact of changes in crucial variables on the final recommendations. The case study is web-enabled, providing the learner a virtual environment in which to explore many resources impacting investment decisions. Resources include: scrap reports, pricing data, process charts, interviews with key production and engineering personnel, among many others. Learners must sort through these data, define the problem, and propose a solution which is supported by a financial analysis.

The Need for Authentic Learning

Challenged with building a manufacturing engineering curricula that produces engineers who can problem solve and are ready to face real issues from the manufacturing engineering field, the Greenfield Coalition (GC) needed to develop a methodology for incorporating course contextual information and issues into all three of its degree programs. Furthermore, candidates at the Focus: HOPE Center for Advanced Technologies (CAT) have a unique learning environment whereby they work in a manufacturing environment in addition to attending classes. Manufacturing engineering students from other colleges and universities generally do not have the same opportunity. Therefore, GC devised a blended learning system including three components:

· Facilitated classroom activities and discussions, · Experiential assignments, where credit is granted for actual shop floor tasks and projects, and · Online interactivities and projects.

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Azmat, S., & Khasnabis, S., & Ellis, R. D., & Srinivasa Murthy, P., & Plonka, F., & Schuch-Miller, D. M. (2002, June), The Engineering Economics Case Study At Greenfield Coalition Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10305

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