International Journal of Engineering Education
A hands-on learning module was implemented at Marquette University in 2012 to teach biomedical engineering students about basic manufacturing processes, lean manufacturing principles, and design for manufacturability. It incorporates active and student-centered learning as part of in-class assembly line simulations. Since then, it has evolved from three class periods to five. The module begins with two classroom presentations on manufacturing operations and electronics design, assembly, and testing. Students then participate in an in-class assembly line simulation exercise where they build and test an actual product per written work instructions. They reflect on this experience and suggest design and process changes to improve the assembly line process and quality, save time, and reduce cost and waste. At the end of the module students implement their suggested design and process improvements and repeat the exercise to determine the impact of their improvements. They learn of the importance of Design for Manufacturability, well-written work instructions, process design, and designing a product not only for the end user, but also for the assemblers and inspectors. Details of the module, and its implementation and assessment are presented along with student feedback and faculty observations.