Professors Sammy Shina and Dudley Shepard
University of Massachusetts, Lowell
Mechanical Engineering Department
Professors Larry Seiford and Richard Giglio
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Industrial Engineering and Operations Research
Professor Samir Billatos
University of Connecticut
Professor Manbir S. Sodhi
University of Rhode Island
Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
Professors Sammy Shina and Richard Giglio
IIE Merrimack Valley
ASQC, Western Mass
SME, New England
What is needed is manufacturing-related material which will enrich the curriculum of any discipline and provide insight into and knowledge of the production process at a level which is appropriate to the discipline involved. Design for quality (DFQ) provides an approach proven in industry and familiar to the technical managers of most successful companies. DFQ encompasses a comprehensive set of concepts and rigorous engineering tools which can be applied to a variety of applications. Furthermore, many of the fundamental concepts and some of the tools can easily be taught to freshmen (indeed, industry is teaching certain concepts and tools to workers on the factory floor) and incorporated into the curricula of all engineering disciplines without a set of prerequisite courses.
We propose to develop and deliver three, original, technologically current DFQ modules which faculty of any engineering discipline can easily incorporate into existing courses. Two of the modules will be constructed so they can each be taught at intermediate or advanced levels, depending on the background of the students in probability theory and statistics. The three modules (at the basic level) can be combined and offered as an integrated course suitable for freshmen or sophomores.
The modules are innovative in their use of personnel and programs from industry, team projects, computer simulation, case studies and in the development of course guides with "packaged" presentations to foster the dissemination of the courses.
In teaching these topics to undergraduates over a period of several years, we have noted a lack of suitable books and materials, especially rigorous engineering problems and solutions and industry-based case studies. The project team proposes to develop an extensive collection of engineering problem sets, laboratory exercises and project materials.
Module 1 will provide an introduction to quality concepts and could be included in nearly any course to give students an understanding of the principles of DFQ and the measurement, description and effects of variability. Modules 2 and 3 will teach more advanced concepts and engineering tools, and are available at two levels, depending on students' background in probability and statistics.
Each module will begin with a "challenge" presented by an engineer or manager describing a problem faced in his or her industry which later will be the subject of a case studies for students. The industry kick-off sessions will be video-taped and be available for future classes to watch when appropriate. For example, engineers may describe the pressure they face to shorten design development cycles, or to respond quickly to calls for customer service. Students could later use computer simulation, QFD and other tools to identify the detrimental effects of variation, and to propose improved systems (e.g. a "pull" system or agile production plan). In many instances, students will visit the company and have a plant tour.
Because the typical production worker, manager or engineer historically has received an inadequate background in even the basics of quality, industry and professional societies have developed numerous training programs. In each module, at least one laboratory session will be based on industrial training aids and delivered by industry representatives, a practice which has already been tested with excellent results.
Teams and communication are integral to good quality practice and will be stressed in the modules. Each module will employ a graphical-based simulation language. Because the mechanics of these languages are simple, students can focus on the results of problem analysis rather than the solution technique.
The cooperative development of the modules insures dissemination across EASNE schools, and a course guide for each separate module will be developed to facilitate further use throughout EASNE and other universities. Each course guide will contain:
June 1, 1995 Project Start Launch meeting June 15, 1995 Module design finalized Divide work for module development among project team Assign initial responsibility for first draft of each module Collection of Primary materials assigned July 1, 1995 Review outlines -- PIs, Industry and Professional Societies Finalize Module outlines Software evaluation & selection completed August 15, 1995 Module development completed Final peer review August 31, 1995 Feedback from final peer review incorporated Delivery of module course guides to individual instructors Fall '95 / Spring '96 semesters Pilot testing, feedback, and refinement of individual modules at member schools
The subject matter itself has unique characteristics which we believe will aid retention. Quality assurance necessarily cuts across boundaries so students get a broad perspective on engineering and need not feel that by choosing engineering they necessarily are being driven into narrow specialties. Quality is and promises to remain in the public consciousness (e.g. Ford: "Quality is Job 1"). Although the specific case studies on which the students will work necessarily have to be taken from a particular company, it will be clear that the use of DFQ cuts across all disciplines.
Three types of procedures will be employed to evaluate the program: peer evaluation, student evaluation, follow-up evaluation.
As described in the WORK PLAN, each module is developed in an iterative fashion by individuals from at least three EASNE schools. Consequently, before a module is even taught, it will be subject to evaluation and modification by faculty who have extensive training in quality, with different perspectives arising from their different mixes of experience in teaching, consulting and in managing industrial programs. Furthermore, industrial partners will be called upon to suggest improvements to the modules both before and after they are taught for the first time.
Students' performance on their team projects and on one examination will measure how well they learned the engineering content of the modules. Changes in students' attitudes and motivation will be measured via the pre- and post-questionnaires which are in the final stages of development by the evaluation task force. These questionnaires will be augmented by additional questions designed to assess goals particular to the DFQ modules (e.g. 3, above). Resources permitting, students taking the quality modules will be compared to those who haven't, again using instruments being developed for this purpose by the evaluation task force.
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