With the development of Internet-based technologies forming a global communication network, more and more advanced applications are being developed on that network. For manufacturing industries, product lifecycle management (PLM) solutions start to give a possibility to monitor the knowledge on a product from its conceptualization through manufacturing phase followed by product use/application till utilization of the product. Having control of the entire lifecycle is important for understanding holistically the role of a product and customers or users expectations for a manufacturer to stay competitive. Being able to manage the product life cycle efficiently and timely requires development and employing of digital manufacturing strategy on all phases of the product life cycle.
The DIGIMAN project brings together 9 different disciplines including chemistry, material science, product development, manufacturing, business and administration, energy production, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), product development and robotics. These are joined and viewed through the digital manufacturing, where each discipline is considered in terms of digital models and tools not only solving discipline specific problems, but integrating those digital models and tools for supporting creation of holistic value chains. Thus, a user in such value chain can have access to multidisciplinary knowledge.
The project created a course consisting of 9 modules, to introduce these 9 disciplines.
Summary of project results
The objective of this cooperation was to develop a course, using the knowledge base from TalTech and NTNU, adding the practical knowledge of digitalization in chemicals industry from ProfMOF AS. The chemistry module was meant to be one of the heaviest, since the main project driver TalTech Virumaa College, is known for the chemistry studies and competenciesin Estonia.One of the difficult objectives was to generate a course that is meant as an introductory subject for masters and doctorate students and at the same time the course can be taught to enterprise professionals as well.
As a result of the project, the course ended up with 9 modules which are usable either together as a full 26 EC course; or the modules can be taught separately: as 9 short courses. The modules with the heaviest emphasis from NTNU included: 1. Digital Manufacturing – Overview; 2. Business & Administration; 3. ICT; 6. Materials – Acoustic Emission; 8. Digital Engineering Design. The modules with most of the work done by TalTech: 4. Digital Energy Production; 5. Digital Material Science; 7. Digital Chemistry; 9. Robotics in Digital Manufacturing. Chemistry module – as the most intense module – received most of its input from ProfMOF AS. The influence of the project is apparent in multiple factors:
1) Cooperation in education, new connections – between universities and disciplines. Naturally the contacts made throughout the project will not go wasted. However more important is the feedback, that many participants discovered another topic or discipline, which has close ties to the main discipline of that person. Various people found another supporting base of knowledge for their research or area of studies.
2) Improving of course guides, architecture of courses in several universities Another impact is certainly the structure or form side of the courses. We envisioned, that we are setting a new standard of creating courses and writing course guides. The feedback we got, confirmed that we were on the road to achieve this goal. From a few PhD candidates we got the feedback that they would like to take this form and structure as a standard in developing their own courses in the future.
3) Education of enterprises As we had some interest from the enterprises of Estonia for the dissemination seminar, we noticed that entrepreneurs would very much like to get into the practical side of digitalization. For the starter course, these separate modules of the created course could be perfect tools to introduce the topics on a basic, practical level to key employees in the private sector.
The intellectual output for the project was a course with the full name “Digital manufacturing - multidisciplinary holistic view, from molecules to products and back” or DIGIMAN for short. The course consists of 9 separate topics or modules, each with introduction to the discipline and with some basic practical exercises. The created materials include the course guide, 9 module gudies, exercise files, tutorials and guides for the potential future teachers and self-study guides for the students. Since it has to do with digitalization, the files and folders are to do with coding languages and structures in some part. The main issues the team encountered were to do with the level of the potential students and the scope of the course. The potential students need to have strong skills and background knowledge in STEM subjects and programming for example. At the same time, the chemistry module also demands a bit more in-depth knowledge in chemistry. The challenge was to make the course not too much in debth in none of the modules, however have enough substance to give on the essence of the disciplines and the connection to digitalization. Through many arguments, feedback loops and iterations we believe that we arrived to the result, that gives a balance in regards to those issues.
Summary of bilateral results
TalTech Virumaa College handled the main bulk of administrative & project management side, e.g. the structure and the form quality of the course and module topics. The role of NTNU was to guide the content vision and assure the quality of the content of the modules. ProfMOF had the role of bringing in practical knowledge and user cases on the digitalization of chemistry. Since chemistry topic was the most important topic for Virumaa College, the informationfrom ProfMOF was of great value. ProfMOF provided both the software knowledge, some practical background knowledge and exercises for the chemistry module.The impact of the project accounts in several areas:- Possibility for various stakeholders (participating organizations, students, private companies) to benefit from the course and/or it’s separate modules: either by teaching or learning in a immersive, practical way across the entire “student journey”.- Creation (and discovery for some participants) of new way; a potential new standard of generating course guides. Resulting in more immersive course introduction and walkthrough (aka guide through). Thus resulting in more clear understanding of the course, its content and expectations for both the students and the teachers.- Discovery of new disciplines, materials and knowledge for participants and organizations - Cross-disciplinary skill improvement for project team and participants- International experience and contacts for participants and organisations (project team)- Practice of English language and international communications for participants (project team included)The project cooperation will continue likely. The main visionary of the course wishes to leave open the possibility to develop the course or its modules further, or to add another module to it. For that, we have created the concept of “the keepers of DIGIMAN”. Those are people, who take care of the project efforts after the official project period has ended.