University of Limerick
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Meeting the needs of industry in smart manufacture - The definition of a new profession and a case study in providing the required skillset

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conference contribution
posted on 2019-06-28, 08:56 authored by Gordon Seamus, Ryan Alan, Loughlin Shane
Industry 4.0 is the term commonly used in Europe to describe the combination of a number of emerging and rapidly evolving technologies that represent the state of the art in the Manufacturing Industry today. Going beyond simply the automation of manufacturing systems, Industry 4.0 involves the convergence of information and automation technology to create cyber-physical systems which virtualize and optimise the manufacturing process on a global scale. The traditional unidisciplinary or multidisciplinary engineering approach has been extremely successful for the provision of Mechatronics Engineers for Industry 3.0 over the past decades. But the complexities of the cyber physical systems which must be implemented as part of Industry 4.0 require a much more comprehensive systems engineering approach. This has resulted in the requirement for the new occupation of Equipment Systems Engineers (ESE) who have been introduced to, and are capable of utilizing an interdisciplinary or even anti-disciplinary approach. This paper describes the development and implementation of an Industry-Led Masters programme at the University of Limerick which was designed specifically to meet the unique skillset required for this rapidly developing field. The development of a unique Industry 4.0 teaching space is described as well as the creation of three manufacturing cells and their 'digital twins' which recreate the environment found in the field. They allow Virtual and Augmented Reality technologies to be used to interact remotely with the equipment. Close collaboration with Industry Experts is a strong feature of the design and delivery of the programme. The teaching methods were also novel and an implementation of the CDIO method is described. The programme recently received the award of 'Best New Masters Programme' in a field of competitors across all Irish Universities and disciplines.






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