Project 3: Contemporary Manufacturing Methods

  General Information

Lead Teacher(s): Clifford G. Reid - Network Administrator
School: Elwood Regional High School
P.O. Box 2004
Deer Lake, NF
A0K 2E0
Tel: (709) 635-2895
Grade Level: Level II - III
Number of Students: 16
Project Start and Finish Dates: Jan. 1998 to June 1998 ( repeated annually)

  Project Overview

Elwood Regional High School offers a locally developed course in Flexible Manufacturing. This is the only course of its kind offered in the province and is very unique to the Nation. The course involves the study of the Design Process, Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines, Robotics, Robotic Vision Systems, and Pneumatic Control Systems. Students learn to work with these systems via hands-on modules and complete the course by designing both a simple project and a Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) Cell to manufacture the product. This project is designed to supplement the Flexible Manufacturing 3220 course. It will provide students with Internet access so that they are able to conduct searches related to each topic discussed above. The information and knowledge base is global in this context, providing students with state-of-the-art research and developments in modern manufacturing methods, processes and tools.

  Curriculum Connections

The main curriculum areas addressed by the project include Technology Education, Science, Mathematics and the Language Arts. This is a Technology education course that involves the practical application of coordinate mathematics and scientific principles. The maintenance of a Portfolio involves the use of many information technologies and use of language skills for record keeping.

The project fits in with the overall curriculum plans at Elwood Regional High School. At Elwood there is a commitment to provide students an opportunity to experience all aspects of the Information Technologies and Design Technologies over their total high school curriculum. This project will have students using a variety of technologies including, a video camera and video editing equipment, a scanner and graphic manipulation software, the Internet (search engines, e-mail, news groups) word processing and presentation software, and HTML Editing software to create documents to be shared on their web site.

In order to become familiar with flexible manufacturing systems, its application, as well as its social, economic and environmental impact, the course is designed to enable the learner:

  1. To develop an awareness of the use of computer aided design in state-of-the-art manufacturing processes.
  2. To understand how computers are used as controllers for manufacturing equipment.
  3. To develop an awareness of the knowledge and skill required in order to interface design technology with manufacturing technology.
  4. To understand the functions of control technology in the manufacturing process.
  5. To understand the functions of robotics in contemporary manufacturing methods.
  6. To become familiar with the process of flexible manufacturing, and how it may be incorporated into a business venture.
  7. To investigate and report on materials used in manufacturing processes.
  8. To analyze methods of processing materials for the purpose of manufacturing artifacts.
  9. To design and operate a CIM (Computer Integrated Manufacturing) cell.
  10. To investigate the economic impact that state-of-the-art manufacturing has upon international, national, provincial and local economies.
  11. To explore possibilities of using flexible manufacturing technology to develop local and provincial economies.
  12. To investigate social and environmental impacts of state-of-the-art manufacturing; international, national, provincial and local.
  13. To investigate career opportunities.

The learning outcomes associated with the objectives of this course are mainly cognitive in nature. Skill related activities are necessary in order to reinforce the problem solving strategies that are employed.

Underlying the method of presentation of this course is an important broader goal. Students will work as teams. As team members, they will learn basic operations, how to set up the manufacturing system, and to plan and produce projects. This exercise will develop desirable social skills such as cooperation, leadership, and tact. Teamwork will help students develop an understanding, and appreciation for the importance of reliability by themselves and co-workers in the workplace.

Incorporated in the overall course is another broader goal. Because of the nature of the content associated with design technology, pneumatics, robotics and machine programming the student will develop an understanding of the interrelatedness of these technology with mathematics, and physics.

As students participate in this project their experiences will contribute to achieving the six general curriculum outcomes for technology education as outlined by the Department of Education, that is:

Nature of Technology

Students will demonstrate an understanding of the nature of modern technology, including the basic technological and scientific principles which underlie technology activities, processes, resource utilization, technological tools and systems.

Technological Problem Solving

Students will solve technological problems by employing the design process to identify needs and opportunities, generate solution ideas, make and fabricate solutions, and evaluate and reflect on them.

Technological Impact

Students will demonstrate understanding of the impact of technology and technological change on self, society, the workplace, careers, and the environment.

Technological Literacy

Students will read, comprehend, write, and use the language and terminology of technological problem solving and will make appropriate use of technological products.

Lifelong Learning

Students will demonstrate understanding of the role of technology to enhance the learning process, will use technology as learning tools, and will develop active learning strategies to employ technology for lifelong learning.

Technological Communications

Students will demonstrate understanding of the role of information and communications technology in managing technological processes and resources, and will use them to manage and communicate effectively about technology

In achieving the curriculum outcomes outlined above students will advance towards achieving the Technological Competence as outlined by the Atlantic Canada Graduation Outcomes. That is students will be able to;

  • locate, evaluate, adapt, create and share information using a variety of sources and technologies
  • demonstrate understanding of and use existing and developing technologies
  • demonstrate understanding of the impact of technology on society
  • demonstrate understanding of ethical issues related to the use of technology in local and global context.

  Resource Connections

The STELLAR Schools Internet connection will provide a mechanism (The Internet) for students to research state-of-the-art knowledge based entities that will enhance their understand and design capabilities for developing modern manufacturing systems. In addition it will provide a vehicle through which students may share their knew experiences with others globally.

This project will also use a variety of other resources to assist students in meeting the course objectives. This will include


Gradwell,Welsh & Martin. (1993) Technology Shaping Our World. (Ch. 3).

Daiber,R.A.; Erekson, T.L. (1991). Manufacturing Technology: Today and Tomorrow. Glencoe/McGraw-Hill. Mission Hills, CA 91395-9509. (Ch. 7, 8, 9, 12).

Norman, E. et al. (1995). Advanced Design and Technology. Longman Group Ltd. Essex CM20 2JE, England. (Ch. 5).

Wright, T.R. & Smith, H.B. (1989). Understanding Technology. The Goodheart-Willcox Company, Inc. (p. 150 - 155)

Hacker, Michael & Barden, Robert (1992). Technology in your World. Delmar Publishers INC.

Fales, Kuetemeyer, Brusic (1998). Technology, Today & Tomorrow. Glencoe/Mcgraw-Hill. Mission Hills, CA 91345

Komacek, Lawson, & Horton (1990). Manufacturing Technology. Delmar INC, Albany NY. 12212

Harms, Kroon, Weigel, (1993). Experience Technology. Glencoe/Macmillan/McGraw-Hill.

Mission Hills, CA 91345.

Croser, P. (1992). Pneumatics (Basic Level TP 101 Textbook) Festo Didatic KG, D-7300 Esslingen 1.

Deppert, Werner & Stoll, Kurt, (1988). Cutting Cost with Pneumatics (Vogel Textbook Engineering Automation). Alois Erdl KG, Trostberg.

Matherson, J.W. et al. (1996). Robotics Technology. Goodheart-Willcox Co. South Holland, Illinois.

DuVall, J. B. (1996). Contemporary Manufacturing Processes. Goodheart-Willcox Co. South Holland, Illinois.

Chapman, C. & Peace, M. (1996). Collins CDT: Design and Realisation Irwin Publishing.

Crampton, K. & Finney, M. (1995). Collins CDT: Design and Realization Irwin Publishing.

A variety of Videos, Machines (CNC Mill, Robot, Basic Pneumatics Kit, Robo-Vision System) and CAD software is available for student hands-on learning. Furthermore, students will have access to Video editing equipment, video camera, a scanner and HTML Editor software to record and report their experiences.

The specialized equipment for this course was secured with funding from the Human Resources Development Corporation in 1994 and 1995.


The learning outcomes for this project as listed in #3 above will be evaluated in a variety of ways. This course is designed to provide hands-on opportunities for students to engage in real life problem-solving. Many of the objectives (technological skills) will best be evaluated through observation and continuous practical assessment of the tasks performed. A checklist of task will be used for this purpose. Evaluation of other objectives will require the use of pen and paper analysis. Some of the areas that will be evaluated in this manner include employability skills, and knowledge of content and process. Students will be guided to perform self evaluations, as well as peer and group evaluations (teamwork). An individuals ability to communicate effectively, work as a team member, display an understanding of the content and processes as outlined in the objectives, and conduct research activities will be monitored for evaluation purposes. The student portfolio and the final product from the FMS will also contribute to overall evaluation of the team effort.

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