June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
14.1230.1 - 14.1230.10
The Integration of Hands-On Manufacturing Processes and Applications within Engineering Disciplines; Work in Progress George D. Gray Engineering Technology Department Texas Tech University
Abstract This paper represents a follow up and or an extension of a previously released paper as presented in a recent regional ASSE conference. It will highlight specific instructional approaches, both in lecture and lab which are currently being implemented in a new manufacturing processes course being taught to mechanical engineering students at Texas Tech University.
Current engineering graduates are highly knowledgeable within their specific academic disciplines regarding the application of finite element analysis and parametric solid modeling software in pursuit of prototyping and simulating theoretical product designs. However, it would appear that many engineering students are not receiving adequate exposure to the actual fundamental hands-on manufacturing processes, concepts and practices, thus resulting in the continuation of a knowledge gap between entry level engineering graduates and the production, fabrication and manufacturing processes being practiced by their industry employers. This gap ultimately leads to a greater learning curve for the newly hired engineers and a longer time span before their company can begin to see economic benefits from their productivity. By incorporating a more practiced based course related to actual manufacturing processes and applications, engineering students will recognize a direct link between their course work and the on-the-job tasks being performed within the engineering and manufacturing work environment. These processes will also enhance the student’s abilities to truly participate in the current “design for manufacturability” (DFM) processes that are currently in practice in today’s competitive global marketplace.
Employers are not the only group interested in seeing more hands-on manufacturing processes being developed; students are also voicing their concerns. An increasing number of students are indicating a desire to have a stronger connection between what is being discussed in the classroom as theory and the actual application of those production/shop practices within a manufacturing environment. Today’s engineering graduates should possess a basic manufacturing knowledge base that would include fundamental practices associated with precision measurements, metalworking, machining, welding, and composites. This paper will attempt to define the need, outline specific methods for implementation and give examples of successful university programs along with current data being gathered from an ongoing course at Texas Tech.
During the past decade the United States has seen its share of global production and manufacturing significantly reduced due to increased competition from overseas. As a result, there is a seemingly endless cry for more engineering graduates resonating within our
Gray, G. (2009, June), The Integration Of Hands On Manufacturing Processes And Applications Within Engineering Disciplines: A Work In Progress Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5464
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