An inverse method of teaching specialised manufacturing subjects: Decomposing a focal representative product to sustain analysis and interaction of details

D. A. Axinte

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The paper presents an 'inverse' method to teach specialist manufacturing processes by identifying a focal representative product (RP) from which, key specialist manufacturing (KSM) processes are analysed and interrelated to assess the capability of integrated manufacturing routes. In this approach, RP should: comprise KSM processes; involve innovative designs; be a daily used and/or market successful product; appeal to the profile of the course. The 'inverse' teaching method was implemented to a new third year specialist manufacturing module, manufacturing process capability through two stages as follows. Knowledge transfer that involved detailed teaching/analysis of technical capabilities of KSM processes through the decomposition of a focal RP, i.e. vacuum cleaner. Then, analysis of how entities (parts of RP) interact/couple to enable the generation of complex entities (assemblies of RP) was brought to students' consideration. Knowledge exercise consisted of group/individual coursework assignments that were designed to stimulate students to use the RP approach for acquiring specialist manufacturing knowledge not discussed during the knowledge transfer stage. Furthermore, the KSM processes were exercised/coupled to generate new families of RPs. The evaluation and analysis of coursework assessments and the formal/informal feedback showed that this module helped students develop abilities to select and optimise capabilities of new manufacturing processes and then couple them to generate new RPs. However, it was found that students are less confident in dealing with inter-process/disciplinary topics that enable them to propose industrial viable manufacturing routes. Apart from individual circumstances, this might be due to previous engineering knowledge convened using by classical descriptive teaching approach. Additionally, the use of RP exercise offers an efficient method for 'probing' students' abilities to interrelate key manufacturing processes for the generation of successful products are proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-84
Number of pages18
JournalEuropean Journal of Engineering Education
Volume33
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2008
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Decomposition of products
  • Engineering education
  • Interaction of details
  • Teaching manufacturing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Engineering (all)

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