An Integrated and Distributed Environment for a Manufacturing Capstone Course


Presented in the paper is an interdisciplinary capstone design project course with the support of distributed and integrated manufacturing processes. This project course provides students with the experience of integrating the technical knowledge they have learned from other courses. The project highlights include 1) Integration of business and engineering skills through a two-semester, team-based capstone manufacturing project course; 2) Development of a distributed product design and manufacturing environment including a realistic supply-chain network; 3) Development of modular courseware to support the capstone design project; 4) In-depth understanding of product quality and manufacturing process control; 5) Implication of various decisions such as make/buy, purchasing, vendor selection on the bottom line; and 6) real world industrial projects supported by various industrial partners. Presented in the paper is the integration of the existing campus manufacturing resources and those available from industries to provide distributed manufacturing experiences for students. The collaboration between the University of Missouri-Rolla and St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley integrates engineering and technology to solve real problems in industry. An interdisciplinary team provides the students with the experience of solving a problem using various team members' expertise. This capstone design project provides opportunities for students to design, manufacture, and actually market a product, are able to stimulate students' interest in real-world product realization. Business knowledge and skill are naturally incorporated into consideration in students' design and manufacturing. Both the program model and actual class implementation are summarized in this paper. This model can also be adapted at other institutions that have limited manufacturing process facilities.

Meeting Name

American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Second Department

Engineering Management and Systems Engineering

Third Department

Materials Science and Engineering


Society of Manufacturing Engineers. Education Foundation

Keywords and Phrases

Capstone Course; Cost Estimation; Curricula; Education; Engineering Education; Information Retrieval Systems; Project Management; Strategic Planning; Structural Design; Technical Knowledge

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2003 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2003

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