An Industry 4.0 educational series developed by the University at Buffalo (UB) Center for Industrial Effectiveness (TCIE), is celebrating its first graduates. The 40-hour specialization—Digital Manufacturing and Design Technology—debuted on the Coursera platform in January with three open online courses (MOOCs). Seven subsequent MOOCs rolled out, one per month, with the final released in August.
With a “101”-level flavor, the series explores the technologies revolutionizing American factories, and how data is being used to connect and improve each stage of the manufacturing process, according to TCIE, the business-outreach arm of the UB School of Engineering and Applied Science, in coordination with UB’s SMART (Sustainable Manufacturing and Advanced Robotic Technologies) Community of Excellence, other UB entities and industry partners. Funding was provided by the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII) and its parent organization, UI LABS, with a U.S. Department of Defense award.
Courses feature video instruction, complemented by subject matter expert insight sessions, reading materials, assessments and peer interaction opportunities, include:
- Digital Manufacturing & Design, taught by Dr. Kenneth English, UB SMART deputy director. This course introduces learners to the transformation happening through digital manufacturing and design (DM&D). Learners discover how this new approach to making products makes companies more responsive, and employees more involved and engaged, as new career paths in advanced manufacturing evolve.
- Digital Thread: Components, taught by Dr. English. This course explores the backbone of the DM&D transformation–the “digital thread,” which is the stream that starts at product concept and continues to accumulate information and data throughout the product’s life cycle.
- Digital Thread: Implementation, taught by Dr. English. This course focuses on the realities of implementing the digital thread; how it can fit into product development processes in an office, on a shop floor, and even across an enterprise; and the benefits, and limitations, of enacting it.
- Advanced Manufacturing Process Analysis, taught by Dr. Rahul Rai, UB associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering. Students learn why performing advanced analysis of manufacturing processes is integral for diagnosing and correcting operational flaws in order to improve yields and reduce costs.
- Intelligent Machining, taught by Dr. Rai. Manufacturers are increasingly utilizing machine tools that are self-aware—they perceive their own states and the state of the surrounding environment—and are able to make decisions related to machine activity processes. This is called intelligent machining, and through this course students receive a primer on its background, tools and related terminology.
- Advanced Manufacturing Enterprise, taught by Dr. Sara Behdad, UB assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, and industrial and systems engineering. This course makes students aware of what a digitally connected enterprise is, as they learn about the operational complexity of enterprises, business process optimization and the concept of an integrated product-process-value chain.
- Digital Manufacturing Commons (opendmc.org), taught by Dr. Chi Zhou, UB assistant professor of industrial and systems engineering. This course explores how the Digital Manufacturing Commons (DMC) platform supports an online community of users who can share data, analytical models, simulations, industry best practices and more.
- Cyber Security in Manufacturing, taught by Dr. Shambhu Upadhyaya, UB professor of computer science and engineering. This course introduces students to why creating a strong and secure infrastructure should be of paramount concern for anyone operating in the DM&D domain, and measures that can be employed to protect operational technologies, systems and resources.
- MBSE: Model-Based Systems Engineering, taught by Dr. Kenneth English, deputy director of UB’s SMART (Sustainable Manufacturing and Advanced Robotic Technologies) Community of Excellence. This Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) course and the Digital Thread courses of the specialization bring together the concepts from across DM&D, forming a vision in which the geometry of a product is just one way of describing it. Students will gain an understanding of systems engineering, the model-based approach to design and manufacturing, the Digital Twin and a roadmap toward a model-based enterprise.
- Roadmap to Success in Digital Manufacturing & Design, facilitated by Roadmap Guide Amy Moore, UB TCIE project manager. Through this culminating project, learners will create a roadmap to achieve their own personal goals related to a DM&D career. It provides a tangible element to include in their professional portfolios.
Individual course content, including videos and readings, can be accessed at no cost; the fee to gain access to all assignments and the opportunity to earn a specialization completion certificate is $49 per month. Click here to learn more.