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Virtual Simulation Curriculum Integration

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Curriculum Development in Manufacturing ET

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.1455.1 - 10.1455.10



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Paper Authors

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Paul Nutter

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

Virtual Simulation Curriculum Integration

Paul Nutter Ohio Northern University Department of Technological Studies


Manufacturing simulation is being used extensively to model, analyze, and optimize complex manufacturing operations by many major corporations, including Boeing, Lockheed-Martin, Daimler-Chrysler and Toyota. Companies are utilizing these advanced 3D digital manufacturing tools as a component of their product life-cycle management. In many cases a simulation is mandatory prior to any significant new operation, project or process implementation. Manufacturing technologists and engineers will increasingly need familiarity with these tools and their applications. This becomes even more significant as manufacturing engineering programs evolve to satisfy the increasing demand for engineers to design and implement continuously improving industrial systems and programs. At Ohio Northern University (ONU) this technology is being taught as virtual simulation (VS). This paper explains how VS has been integrated into our curriculum, and has established effective partnerships with local manufacturing companies.


Ohio Northern University is in the seventh year of a curriculum utilizing advanced industrial computer simulation software. The virtual simulation classes are offered in a sequence of three quarters, providing four credits per quarter. Students learn specific simulation applications from tutorials and online course materials. Teams of students work with local companies to create simulation models of actual manufacturing operations. Recent projects included work with major automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and suppliers, along with a major defense industry company. Each team prepares PowerPoint materials which are presented to representatives of the company. This presentation includes videos of the simulation, analysis of the operation, and basic suggestions for improvement.

The simulation applications used in these industrial projects include robotic workcell processing, ergonomics analysis, and discrete event materials/process flow studies. This curriculum has provided an opportunity for integration of several technologies and manufacturing management aspects into an application-based environment, including 3-D CAD modelling, robotics, and production system design. Students gain skills and experience in teamwork, project planning, problem solving, and formal multi-media presentations in company environments. Benefits include exposure to in-plant manufacturing operations, and the opportunity to personally deal with company representatives. Current students have obtained coop/internship positions, and graduates are finding simulation jobs in the fields of manufacturing and applications engineering.

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society of Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society of Engineering Education

Nutter, P. (2005, June), Virtual Simulation Curriculum Integration Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15454

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