In face of recent global competition, a significant paradigm - agile manufacturing - is emerging, where multiple firms cooperate under flexible virtual enterprise structures. To address manufacturing education needs to promote and understand agile manufacturing concepts, a unique graduate level course is being offered at the Department of Industrial Engineering, SUNY-Buffalo. This graduate level course covers topics, enabling techniques/technologies, and case projects in agile manufacturing. It provides a core set of fundamental tools, example applications and open research topics. The objective is to expose participants to agile manufacturing issues, and enable them to creatively synthesize and apply the tools covered to open research problems. It blends quantitative and qualitative material, from multiple disciplines of industrial, manufacturing and management engineering. The specific objectives of this paper are to discuss the design and experiences of this course. Further, it is our desire to share the motivation behind the relevance of such a course, and some of the challenges in designing and offering it. We would also like to propose some possible directions in which academia could focus so that a skilled and empowered manufacturing profession base can be created.
ASJC Scopus subject areas