University of Aveiro (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN14 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Pages: 5739-5746
ISBN: 978-84-617-0557-3
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 7-9 July, 2014
Location: Barcelona, Spain
The simulation study presented in this work was developed during the Advanced Simulation course of the master programme in Management and Industrial Engineering of University of Aveiro (Portugal). The students of the master programme take a one-year business internship in a Portuguese company (usually a SME) and the simulation course helps them to develop a simulation study to solve real-world problems that they encounter during their internship experience.

This problem-based learning method aims to prepare the students to solve engineering problems in real business environments using proper industrial engineering tools and methods and establishing effective communications channels between the university and the companies involved in the programme.

In this particular case, the company involved in the internship program was Mercatus (a company specialized in the production of refrigerated food service equipment). The student developed a simulation study in order to analyze the manufacturing operations of a given assembly line in an attempt to increase the throughput and overall productivity.

The university's goals were, first of all, to successfully complete the study to show that companies can benefit from the business internship program offered by the university. Secondly, to get a successful case study of university/industry interaction in the simulation field that can be used to demonstrate the benefits that SME's can get from using simulation to fine-tune their manufacturing operations. The student who developed the study was critical in the process as she combined the knowledge of the simulation toll being used with the awareness gained on the assembly line operation details.

This successful collaboration between the academia and the business world through the business internship program sponsored by the University of Aveiro (and the Advanced Simulation course of the master programme in Management and Industrial Engineering) illustrates the benefits of an experiential learning approach anchored in concrete real problems. This simulation of the real-world experience is a way of active learning which provides a considerably memory recollection. Several works in the literature help support the notion that games and simulation studies are an effective active way of teaching production-related concepts.
Computer software, Problem-based learning, Industrial systems, Simulation.