Universidad Pontificia Comillas (ICAI) (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Pages: 1356-1360
ISBN: 978-84-614-2439-9
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 15-17 November, 2010
Location: Madrid, Spain
The service sector´s, which continued growth in Spain has somewhat displaced Production and Operations Management study towards more theoretical aspects. It is important to make our students understand the importance of Operations Management both for business success and tactical positioning within sector. Many of them are not aware of this fact until joining the labor force.
From the Industrial Engineering Department of Engineering School (ICAI), we consider factory visiting (in Madrid) as an effective tool for bringing the subject to real life.
The main objective pursued by this practical experience is to bring students to manufacturing reality and thus help them gain a broader perspective. This methodology allows students to construct knowledge watching and learning about the manufacturing and assembly lines and the different automation and control levels. They will acquire a very clear idea of the running and management of a factory and the existing connection to the rest of functional business areas such as purchasing/sourcing, human resources, sales... They will also experience how the labour force is organized , the lay-out of the factory, the daily production lines ...

The explanations of the manufacturing process are given by engineers who belong to the company´s staff; in addition, students can watch and ask. Next step is sharing experiences and impressions within the classroom environment with the aim to foster the process of learning in the classroom and help students deepen and strengthen the knowledge acquired in other subjects.
Our main objective is to increase student´s concern and motivation about an unknown environment. Moreover, they will be able to discover a scope of professional challenges they will have to face soon.
After several years of experience, results related to improving learning skills in Operation Management have turned to be consistently positive.
Factory visiting, Operations Management, professional challenges.