June 21, 2016

Visual Components Sharpens Students’ Simulation Skills

Visual Components helps students at Ohio Northern University learn about the real-life applications of factory simulation.

Key Insights

  • Widely used software in various types of factories around the world.
  • Using Visual Components in the classroom prepares students for a future in manufacturing engineering and technology.

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nine Ohio Northern University students working on a factory simulation project

Factory simulation is the epitome of manufacturing engineering students’ studies

Every Spring semester since 2002, Ohio Northern University has arranged a manufacturing simulation course aimed at third or fourth year manufacturing engineering students. During the course, the students are expected to complete a project using simulation software. This prepares them for working life as the visualization and simulation of factories will be a key component of their future careers.

“Visualizations are valuable because they allow everyone, from managers and operators to maintenance personnel and custodians, to understand the benefits and consequences of changing the environment or changing the layout,” says Professor Paul Nutter, who teaches the course.

Usability and support make a difference

The students’ final project involves designing a plant layout that optimizes a factory’s processes by, for example, simulating different scenarios of equipment placement. Various software have been used to accomplish this over the years, such as Advance CAD and Catia, however they each and every one of them have been too difficult to use. Until recently, when the university starting using Visual Components’ software.

Professor Paul Nutter has been awed by the user-friendliness of the software. According to Nutter, the application is quick and easy to learn with no previous training in using such programs needed. This is a clear advantage when teaching students, who typically have no prior experience with simulation software.

Nutter also praises the exceptional support the class has received from the Visual Components support team through video conferencing with the students. When even the trickiest questions won’t go unanswered, the learning effects of the course are maximized.

100% of our students are placed in jobs that pay $55,000 upon graduation.

Professor Paul Nutter

Experiential learning prepares for real-life

Since Visual Components is used in a wide variety of factories around the world, Nutter believes that using the software in the classroom is an excellent way to give the students a glimpse into the ways they can apply their education in the real world and to prepare them for a future in manufacturing engineering and technology.

“It opens their minds to real-life applications in the industry. It’s experiential learning,” Nutter says. And this method really seems to be working, too. “100% of our students are placed in jobs that pay $55,000 upon graduation.”