Improve teaching capacity of the Materials Processing Laboratory

Project Title: Improve teaching capacity of the Materials Processing Laboratory

Project Lead: Giancarlo Corti


Phone: (513) 529-0747

Affiliation: CEC

Other Team Member Names: Karl Reiff

Project Details: This proposal presents a case for the acquisition of a new CNC Milling Machine. This new equipment will greatly increase the teaching capabilities in manufacturing of the MME Department. The Materials Processing Laboratory supports core engineering courses, senior design projects, and provide support for multiple research projects and student clubs, such as the SAE Baja and Formula SAE. According to the National Association of Manufactures (NAM) "Over the next decade, nearly 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will likely be needed, and 2 million are expected to go unfilled due to the skills gap." Moreover, according to a recent report, 80 percent of manufacturers report a moderate or serious shortage of qualified applicants for skilled and highly skilled production positions. This needed skill is also a core curse at the Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering Department, where a competency-based education provide a hands on training and knowledge of advanced manufacturing techniques. The MME department currently is equipped with 2 CNC machines, 1 lathe and 1 mill. These equipment had proven vital in training our students to meet the industry requirement. However, this training requires hands on time and practice. In recent years the MME Department has outgrowth its machine capacity, reducing the amount of time that each student has to operate each machine. Therefore, the need to increase the Materials Processing Laboratory capacity. MME students are not only required to learn how to operated, and program CNC machinery, but they are also trained in product and production lines design and product lifecycle management. All of them core topics in the mechanical design and manufacturing areas. All of these areas and classes in MME curriculum are strictly related one to another, and they are inseparable. Therefore, the knowledge and training the students receive in the Materials Processing Laboratory, becomes an essential foundation for their design classes. By knowing how to machine a part and operate the CNC equipment, the student also learn about the limitations and the process parameters required to produce specific parts for the final product. This knowledge is crucial in the design of product and production lines, since accounts for labor times, production cost, feasibility, as well as final assembly. In the end the requested CNC mill becomes a fundamental learning tool for mechanical and manufacturing engineers and it will enhance the quality of student academic and research opportunities, as well as their preparation for professional activity.

Problem Project Attempts to Solve: This proposal if successful will cover a gap created in the teaching capabilities of the Manufacturing Processes Laboratory, an Instructional Laboratories of the MME Department. The MME Department student headcount has increased steadily in the past years and this number is projected to growth over 600 students for the fall 2016. Currently, the MME Department Undergraduate headcount is 582 students, almost doubling its size since Fall 2007. Due to this rapid and steady growth of the student body of the MME department, core classes have reached an average of 70 students. This large number has created a challenge and limited the students' hands experience in CNC machining. The proposed solution is to increase the CNC milling capacity of the Manufacturing Processes Laboratory by purchasing a HASS TM- 3P CNC vertical toolroom mill and its required tooling.

Does this project focus on Graduate Studies?: No

Does it meet tech fee criteria?: Manufacturing and computer assisted manufacturing are cores learning classes in mechanical and manufacturing engineering. All students in the MME department (Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering and Engineering Management) must take MME 231 (Manufacturing Processes) as part of their degree. Manufacturing Engineering and Engineering Management students are also required to take MME437 (Automated Manufacturing), while Mechanical Engineering students can opted this course as one of their technical electives. In addition, an average of 70% percent of MME students will use the available CNC machine to fabricate their required parts during their final capstone design project. Finally, students clubs SAE Baja and Formula SAE heavily relay on the only CNC machine to fabricate, their suspension component and transmission for these prestigious intercollegiate races. This proposal seeks to increase the Manufacturing Processes Laboratory capabilities and enhance the quality of student academic opportunities in preparation for their professional activity. Modernization of the manufacturing capabilities goes towards upholding the school's educational mission as well as fostering professional development of our students. Provision of the new system will: 1. benefit all MME students (currently 582), and other majors through capstone projects 2. enhance the quality of offered manufacturing courses. Having extra capabilities it means that all students will actually be able to have a hands on experience during the CNC laboratory practices (MME 231 and MME437 in particular), a real necessity for engineers and a requirement from employers. 3. provide additional and needed resource to support future research projects within the department and college 4. ensure the continued availability of state of the art equipment for courses seeking to augment or infuse exercises in manufacturing and will better prepare our students to face their challenges in industry.

How will you assess the project?: The primary objective of the project is to make a significant contribution to enhance the hands on students experience in their engineering manufacturing courses. The realization of this goal will be assessed through three evaluations methods. Alumni surveys will constitute the most reliable body of information on the level of preparation instilled by laboratory activities. These surveys are conducted regularly by the department, and will be modified to elicit information specific to this project. The second measure of efficacy will be data collected through the senior exit interviews, which specifically inquire about the quality of the laboratory experience, and from course evaluations. Additionally, faculty input on how the availability of the advanced quality equipment has enabled the inclusion of new assignments that entail design related critical thinking and quality data collection in their courses will be gathered. Finally, end of semester course evaluations provide feedback on the student laboratory experience, which it is often identified by students as very positive towards an understanding of fundamental material concepts. Funding of this project stands to enhance the quality of this experience.

Have you received tech fee funding in the past?: No

What happens to this project in year two?: The requested equipment will be used in conjunction to the Hass TM-1P CNC Mill purchased in 2007 and Hass CNC TL-1 lathe purchase in 2012. Both machines have operated very reliable since their installation. By purchasing equipment from the same company, we simplify the training and maintenance of the equipment. Currently all the equipment upkeep has being perform by Karl Reiff, the Laboratory Technician/Coordinator. Periodic maintenance of the equipment will be covered by the MME laboratory upkeep budget.

Hardware: HASS TM-3P CNC and required tooling, $53,970

Contracts: Facilities, electrical connections and Shipping, $3,000

Total Budget: $56,970