Next set of online courses from UB-developed digital manufacturing and design series to open

By Tracy Puckett

Release Date: February 15, 2017

The first-of-its-kind series explores how data is being used to connect and improve each stage of the manufacturing process.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Three online courses developed by the University at Buffalo that explore technologies revolutionizing American factories — Advanced Manufacturing Process Analysis, Intelligent Machining and the Advanced Manufacturing Enterprise — will roll out on the worldwide Coursera platform beginning next week.  

The massive open online courses (MOOCs) are installments four through six in a 10-part “101” series called Digital Manufacturing and Design Technology. The first-of-its-kind series explores how data is being used to connect and improve each stage of the manufacturing process. The project is a partnership with the Chicago-based, federally funded Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII).

The new MOOCs to debut are:

  • Advanced Manufacturing Process Analysis, available on Feb. 20 and taught by Rahul Rai, PhD, UB associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering. Extreme variability is a fact of life in manufacturing environments, impacting product quality and yield. Through this course, students will learn why performing advanced analysis of manufacturing processes is integral for diagnosing and correcting operational flaws in order to improve yields and reduce costs.
  • Intelligent Machining, available on March 20 and taught by Rai. Manufacturers are increasingly utilizing machine tools that are self-aware — they perceive their own states and the state of the surrounding environment — and are able to make decisions related to machine activity processes. This is called intelligent machining, and through this course students will receive a primer on its background, tools and related terminology.
  • Advanced Manufacturing Enterprise, available on April 17 and taught by Sara Behdad, PhD, UB assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, and industrial and systems engineering. Enterprises that seek to become proficient in advanced manufacturing must incorporate manufacturing management tools and integrate data throughout the supply chain to be successful. This course will make students aware of what a digitally connected enterprise is, as they learn about the operational complexity of enterprises, business process optimization and the concept of an integrated product-process-value chain.

Each course includes video-based instruction, peer interactions, assessments and project work.

The first three MOOCs of the series launched on Jan. 30 and are open for enrollment. They include: Digital Manufacturing & Design, Digital Thread: Components, and Digital Thread: Implementation. Remaining courses — MOOCs seven through 10 — will be available this spring and summer.  

Course development is being led by UB’s Center for Industrial Effectiveness (TCIE), the business outreach center of UB's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, in coordination with SMART (Sustainable Manufacturing and Advanced Robotic Technologies) Community of Excellence, the Center for Educational Innovation and industry partners. Efforts are partially funded with a $380,000 award from DMDII and its parent organization, UI LABS.

Learners may sign up for individual courses or the complete series. There is no charge to access course content that includes videos and readings. The fee to gain access to content plus all assignments in a course or the complete series, and the opportunity to earn a certificate in digital manufacturing and design, is $49 per month.

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