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Course module: 202000147
ME 11 - Production Systems Engineering
Course infoSchedule
Course module202000147
Credits (ECTS)0
Course typeModule name
Language of instructionEnglish
Contact personJ.R. Reyes Garcia
J.R. Reyes Garcia
Contactperson for the course
J.R. Reyes Garcia
Academic year2021
Starting block
RemarksModule 11 ME
Application procedureYou apply via OSIRIS Student
Registration using OSIRISYes
Module consists of the study units
Module 11, Production Systems Engineering, consists of several module parts, every part has its own content and learning objectives. The Module consists of 15 ECs, an overview is given below:
Course name Code
1. Introduction to Finite Element Method (FEM) [3.5 ECs] 202000149
2. Statistics [2.5 ECs] 202000148
3. Academic Research & Skills [3.5 ECs] 202000150
4. Project Production Systems Engineering [assignment: 1.75 ECs; Total: 5.5 ECs]* 202000151
4.1 Systems Engineering (SE) course [1.5 ECs]
4.2 Production Management (PM) course [2 ECs]
4.3 Statistics Case Study (SCS) [0.25 ECs]
4.4 FEM project exercise

* The total credits obtained after successful completion of the Project Production Systems Engineering are 5.5 ECs (1.75: assignment + 1.5: SE + 2: PM + 0.25: SCS). The final result consists of 50% project assignment, 25% PM exam, 25% SE essay. To obtain the credits, the Statistics case study should be a pass and the result of the FEM analysis must be taken into account for the design of the production facility.
Module description
Module parts:

1. Introduction to the finite element method
In this course an introduction to the Finite Element Method is given which currently is the most widely used tool to analyze mechanical behavior of structures. With this method the stiffness and strength of any structure can be computed efficiently and accurately starting from simple structures that can be calculated using different methods by hand such as trusses and beams to more complicated structures to which analytical solutions are too hard to determine or may even not exist. Within the course the background of the method will be given including the mechanics and the mathematics. Firstly in the course truss and beam Finite Element formulations will be derived. These will be followed by introducing a more general approach that is applicable to any structure using the Virtual Work theorem. Complete derivation of Finite Element equations for 1-, 2- and 3-dimensional structures will be given based on linear static material behavior. Linear and higher-order elements will be introduced and derived and an introduction to numerical integration methods will be given. Since the Finite Element method is an approximation a theoretical background will be given in order to validate and interpret the results of a simulation. The course also progresses in the direction of direct application of the given knowledge using commercial Finite Element programs such as ANSYS. In the practical exercises realistic problems will be solved using this software and the validity and the accuracy of the simulations will be discussed. At the end of the course the student can …
  • Compute stresses and deflections of frames and beam structures with the help of the Finite Element Method and be able to analyze and evaluate the results;
  • Describe and explain the mathematical and mechanical backgrounds of the Finite Element Method;
  • Be able to derive 1-, 2- and 3-dimensional element formulations;
  • Write a simple Finite Element program in MATLAB;
  • Make an efficient Finite Element model of a real problem and analyze using a Finite Element program;
  • Interpret results of a Finite Element calculation and evaluate the accuracy of the calculation.
2. Statistics
In research and in practice one often has to work with data, which is a result of a random experiment (e.g. measurements, or life time of equipment). Often we can find patterns when looking at large numbers of measurements at the same time.
Probability theory is useful for studying such patterns, based on specific assumptions about the random experiment, which we call a probabilistic model. For example, we could assume that a random filter has an average lifetime of 162,000,000 km, and plan maintenance and replacement of filters, based on this assumption.
Statistics is the science that, based on real data, investigates whether the assumptions of such a probabilistic model (and the conclusions that are derived from it) fit with reality. For instance, measurements may show that the average lifetime (in km) of 200 air filters in ship engines is 161,800,000 km.
Does the somewhat smaller measured average disprove the initial assumption or is it a result of random fluctuations?  In this course the students will learn how to answer such questions using basic models and methods of probability and statistics.
Models and techniques discussed in this course are: random experiment, sample space, probability, conditional probability, independence, random variables, discrete probability distributions (Binomial, Geometric, Hypergeometric and Poisson distributions), continuous probability distributions (Uniform, Normal and Exponential distributions), joint distributions, conditional distributions, expectation, variance, covariance, correlation coefficient, weak law of large numbers, estimators, unbiased estimators, mean square error, confidence intervals, prediction intervals, basic concepts of hypothesis testing, one-sample and two-sample problems.

The case study in this course will address problems that are related to the module project. In addition, at the end of the course the student can …
  • Recall and explain basic terminology and concepts of probability and statistics;
  • Recognize elementary models and techniques of probability and statistics (see ‘content description’ for the list of models and techniques);
  • Apply elementary models and techniques of probability and statistics, and work out their solution to obtain correct (numerical) results;
  • Properly interpret the results (described above).
3. Academic Research & Skills 1
This course consists of two parts:

3.1 Preparation bachelor assignment
The course Academic Research & Skills offers a thorough acquaintance with the ‘world of scientific research’ to prepare students for the bachelor thesis.
During the lectures, you will learn what scientific research implies, why it is important and what aspects you have to take in to account when preparing and doing research. Topics such as plagiarism, research ethics and societal impact will be part of the course.
Besides this, you will prepare for your bachelor thesis by writing a research proposal addressing an existing research problem offered by one of the research chairs.
After choosing an assignment, you will perform a literature study to find out what research has been performed on this topic and where so called ‘white spots’ can be found. Based on this literature study, you will specify your own research question and write a research proposal to answer this question.
During the writing of your proposal, supervision from staff member of the research chair you chose will be available. During the lectures you will receive information, tools and practice assignments to help you find the necessary literature, write your proposal and report in a scientific way. Peer review is used for feedback and critical reflection. The course will be completed with a written report. After this part of the course, the student is able to …
  • Explain what research is, what types and phases can distinguished and how the quality of research can be assured;
  • Formulate a research question based on a specific problem;
  • Perform literature research and use the results to further specify the research question;
  • Write a research proposal based on the research question that was formulated;
  • Reflect on the technological and societal impact of the research;
  • Reflect on ethical issues relevant to the research;
  • Critically reflect on the research proposals of fellow students.
3.2 Societal Embedding
This part of the course is aimed at understanding and reflecting on the broader socio-technical context of innovations and engineering work. This includes questions such as: What is the societal relevance of a particular technology, for whom is it relevant, why and how? How is the technology perceived by different social actors and how may these actors affect the further development and societal embedding of the technology? What is necessary to make a particular technology work in practice, not only technically, but as something which is actually used, produced, conforms to regulations etc.? What forms of knowledge are needed to develop a technology that works in practice?
In this module you will learn about a set of approaches and mapping tools which help to address these questions, read and discuss academic literature, consider what are relevant questions for a technology linked to your bachelor assignment and propose a topic to study further in a paper to be written in module 12. After this course, the student is able to …
  • Identify and describe the socio-technical context of a particular innovation necessary for it to work in practice;
  • Identify relevant stakeholders which may affect or be affected by an innovation and reflect on their role, relations, perceptions, interests ;
  • Identify and reflect on the relevant sources and forms of knowledge production in engineering work and innovation;
  • Explore possible application areas for a technology.;

4. Project Production Systems Engineering (1.75 ECs)
Manufacturing’s systems are complex. Manufacturing or production systems have many sub systems and elements. The elements and sub systems have obvious, but non-simple relationships to each other. The sub systems and elements in the typical manufacturing system are not completely organized, and they are not completely disordered. That makes designing a production system a very interesting challenge.

In this project a complex production system will be designed in a realistic situation. Besides the project assignment, the project consists of the courses Systems Engineering and Production Management. These three parts are closely intertwined. The acquired knowledge of Systems Engineering and Production Management needs to be applied directly in the project assignment. So the project can only be done in combination with these two courses and the other way around. Dealing with complexity, vague demands and modern technologies are central. In addition, there should be made a design on system-level. In developing the design must be centered so all sub systems fit within the overall design and collaborate.
Both, the Statistics and the IFEM courses are related, but not strictly included as part of this project. However, students need the knowledge gained in these courses to solve some problems in the project. After this project the student …
  • Is able to (re)design (a part of) a production system by applying theory/tools and solutions from the Production Management and Systems Engineering disciplines;
  • Can obtain and maintain overview over, and between the constituting parts and disciplines;
  • Has practiced integrated production system development.
  • Can apply statistical knowledge into the context of Production Management;
  • Can apply FEM results into the context of Production Management;
  • Has practiced to make an academic poster.
4.1 Systems Engineering (1.5 ECs)
Systems engineering is an approach of the design process with the aim to create successful systems in the most efficient manner possible. This course provides an introduction to the subject. A number of tools will be presented that can be helpful in the development of systems. In addition, we intend to teach a way of thinking that leads to well-functioning and value-creating systems. After this course, the student can …
  • Design (part of) a complex system;
  • Obtain and maintain an overview in a multidisciplinary design project
  • Recognize and understand high-tech systems with underlying physics;
  • Recognize practical and theoretical underpinning design principles.
4.2 Production management (2 ECs)
Production management is the activity of managing the resources that create and deliver products by changing inputs into outputs using an “input-transformation-output” process. This course is about this “input-transformation-output” process and all the related topics. These topics are about company/manufacturing strategies, designing a production system, planning and control of such a system, performance and improvement of existing systems, maintenance and the relation between this topics. After this course the student has insight in the organization of manufacturing facilities and is able to use this knowledge to (re)design, improve and maintain a manufacturing system. The student …
  • Has insight in the components, organization and behavior of a manufacturing system;
  • Has insight in the influence of production strategy on a manufacturing system;
  • Is, in the basics, able to (re)design a (part of a) production system;
  • Understands the influence of planning and control on the production system and is able to apply this knowledge;
  • Is able to describe how performance of a manufacturing system can be measured and improved;
  • Understands the relation between maintenance and (the design of) manufacturing systems.
4.3 Statistics case study (0.25 ECs)
As part of the Statistics course, students have to work on various case studies, one of this case studies will address problems that are related to the project.

4.4 FEM project exercise
As part of the IFEM course, students have to work on various exercises and write a simple Finite Element programme in MATLAB. One of those exercises is connected to the problem stated in the PES project. Students need to use their MATLAB programme to solve the exercise and use the results as input for the design of their production facility.

Module 11
Participating study
Bachelor Mechanical Engineering
Required materials
Course material
See listing at associated study unit(s)
Recommended materials
Course material
See listing at associated study unit(s)
Instructional modes
Presence dutyYes


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