Integrated projects: Applying Lean principles to reverse engineer a common consumer product to develop a more sustainable design

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Williams, Amber
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We will be evaluating the effects of integrating a graduate engineering course with five undergraduate courses in a customer-supplier relationship, linking paired teams into squads with a unifying "Drill." The teams will be using the Six Sigma DMAIC methodology and KEEN (Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network) Entrepreneurial Mindset team building activities to provide consistency of deliverables and strength team dynamics. The objective is to reverse engineer a common consumer product and discover ways to improve its design to manufacture it in a more sustainable manner, while still meeting the operational and financial goals of a company. Simultaneously, we will be meeting the Wichita State goal which bridges the gap between classroom learning and real-life experiences through our integrated project. Our study sample consists of over 150 students enrolled in 6 engineering classes. The central theme in all the classes is a common, global product, a drill. Each course will be examining different components of the drill, performing design analysis within the specific course bodies of knowledge. The drill sub-assemblies included the hard carrying case for Statics, batteries & charging stations for Circuits, the main drill body for Machine Elements, statistical process control of the components in an SPC course, project management in an Engineering Leadership course, culminating in the graduate course, Lean, which will develop a Business Plan to launch a startup business to manufacture and assemble all the components of the drill. The integrated groups have weekly deliverables. This pilot program is presently in the last 16-weeks of the semester. We will measure, analyze, and improve this program through our data pool of 150 students by conducting interviews, surveys, and other case studies. This integrated project places students in customer-supplier relationships as actual companies would interact. The goal of these customer-supplier interactions will help to cultivate interpersonal skills for future careers in a variety of industries. Our secondary goal is to help students rediscover their curiosity in engineering while improving as a student through value creation resulting from the connections with students from the other classes. Our third goal is to prepare these fellow students for their future industrial colleagues.

Presented to the 19th Annual Symposium on Graduate Research and Scholarly Projects (GRASP) held at the Rhatigan Student Center, Wichita State University, April 14, 2023.
Research completed in the Department of Industrial, Systems, and Manufacturing Engineering, College of Engineering and Department of Engineering Technology, College of Engineering.
Williams, Amber. 2023. Integrated projects: Applying Lean principles to reverse engineer a common consumer product to develop a more sustainable design. -- In Proceedings: 19th Annual Symposium on Graduate Research and Scholarly Projects. Wichita, KS: Wichita State University
Wichita State University
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