The Integrated Learning Factory
The Integrated Learning Factory is envisioned to be a modern production facility which will demonstrate to both students and industry partners how computer-based automation and integration technologies can be deployed to help regain and maintain manufacturing competitiveness in the 21st Century. In the Integrated Learning Factory, students and industry trainees, will be able to solve real problems in manufacturing operations and product development. Students can conduct simulations and analyses to determine best operating conditions or configurations of parts and systems and simultaneously develop quick prototypes and optimized manufacturing processes for final production.
The three most important features of the Integrated Learning Factory are:
- Integrated information infrastructure. This facility will expose students to new and advanced information technologies and communication networks that are critical to and directly support design and manufacturing automation. It is proposed that we will prototype an information-integrated network of physical and computational facilities that link the several departments, as well as several Virginia institutions of higher learning and industrial sites, and equip such facilities with advanced computational tools and manufacturing equipment.
- Product realization laboratory. The laboratory will engage students in realistic product realization projects of increasing sophistication, culminating in a capstone comprehensive industry-sponsored project in their final year. Project scope will range from the identification of customer-needs to final product realization, including design creativity and the broader management and social issues that arise during the product realization process.
- Technology transfer for manufacturing. This aspect focuses on serving small to medium manufacturers of discrete mechanical parts. Here the goal is to develop industry-relevant modular multi-media training materials on modern methods for product realization, rapid prototyping, CAM, group technology (GT), CNC, robotics, process control, TQM/SPC, and on the impact of management, social science and environmental issues on emerging technologies of product and process development.
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Copyright JMU, 1999.
Last update: May 19, 1999.