Teaching Labs

The UPRM Model Factory integrates modern equipment, materials, and people into a manufacturing system.  Its mode of operation is through interdisciplinary working teams from several engineering and business disciplines.  This is a coordinated effort between several Engineering Departments.  The goals of this laboratory facility are to provide the following:

  • Practice based experiences dealing with all aspects of an actual manufacturing system.
  • A space where local manufacturing industry issues can be studied.
  • A place where modern production technology and techniques can be studied as they are applied in an integrated manufacturing system.
  • The opportunity to assist local manufacturers in the development of their production system.
  • Incubator facilities where products and process can be developed or improved.
  • Serve as a meeting place where people from several disciplines can meet and learn to work in teams, and get an appreciation of the technical aspects of the other’s area of knowledge.

Currently, this laboratory houses a for-profit manufacturing activity and provides students from various engineering disciplines with an exemplary manufacturing experience inside the university.  The factory houses a printed circuit assembly line for surface mount components in which production and prototype runs are performed for customers in the electronics sector. Prior to working in the manufacturing line, students receive pay and credit for their involvement, similar to a COOP experience.  These students are then the ideal candidates to participate in course projects and summer and COOP internship in sector companies. The electronics manufacturing sector will nourish from these young but experienced graduates.  Part of the charter of the Model Factory is to share process breakthroughs with partners of the electronics sector. Close to ten companies have contributed to this initiative, with special mention of Hewlett Packard and Solectron Corporation.

This laboratory space has been designed to provide students with hands on experience in the analysis and evaluation of humans in their working environment. As part of the class experiences, manual tasks are simulated and evaluated based on anthropometrics, cardiovascular, posture and force requirements. The laboratory has modern equipment and software available for the analysis of work systems, including manual material handling activities, biomechanics, and time studies. The equipment available in the laboratory for teaching and research purposes, includes:

  • Computers with licenses of ErgoIntelligence for analysis and evaluation of workstation design as well as the analysis of lifting tasks with the NIOSH lifting guide.
  • Chatillon force measurement gauges and equipment for the analysis of lifting, pushing and pulling tasks.
  • Hand dynamometers and pinch gauges to measure hand force.
  •  Anthropometers and calipers for the collection of anthropometric data.
  •  Heart rate meters and a treadmill for the evaluation of cardiovascular requirements of physical tasks.
  • Goniometers and data collection software for the analysis of
    flexion, extension, and rotation of body members.
  • Glove pressure mapping system and software for the evaluation hand force.
  • Heat stress monitors and Wet-bulb globe temperature meter for the analysis of environmental variables.
  • Dosimeters, sound level meters and octave-band analyzers for the evaluation of noise levels.
  • Photometers and spot meters for illumination studies.
  • Stop watches and digital recording equipment for Time Study, line balancing and Work Measurement analysis, including WorkStudy+ licenses, among many others.

This teaching-learning facility is the hands-on laboratory for the Real Time Process Control course.  Students design, build, and control scaled models, mainly emulating real manufacturing operations.  The emphasis is in the use of programmable logic controllers (PLC), industrial sensors and actuators, pneumatics, and computer-based human machine interfaces.

The lab counts with 20 workstations equipped with all the necessary software and hardware.  The facility is available for demonstration and custom trainings.

The lab is equipped with Statistical software for data analysis, design of experiments, and validation procedures. It can also provide hands-on demonstrations for applied statistics courses and for simulation courses.

The Department of Industrial Engineering has a modern computing and information technology infrastructure. Servers running on Windows Server 2012 platforms support the computing infrastructure. The servers support all software packages and general applications used by the students in the IE courses.

The computing center located in II-108 and is equipped with 36 stations connected to the department’s local area network and to the Internet. It serves as a general-purpose computing facility and training center. It provides printing and plotting capabilities. The computer center has extended operation hours during weekdays and Sundays. An additional virtual computing laboratory is available as a remote desktop to students and faculty for use with simulations, analytics, modeling, and computing demanding software.

A video conferencing room is available in II-114. This multifunctional facility is equipped with 30 computer stations and is used as a regular classroom for technical courses, computer center, and for distance learning.