Case Study

Real-world PLM training and experience prepare tomorrow’s engineers for competitive marketplace

Universidad Tecnológica Nacional

Students gain practical technology and project experience using Solid Edge and Femap

Experience prepares students for the real world

Argentina‘s National Higher Institute of Technical Professorship was established in 1959 to develop technical education teachers and senior technicians to work in technology sectors. Since 1995, the Institute has been affiliated with the Universidad Tecnológica Nacional (U.T.N.), which has a reputation of serving the technology labor market.

More than 150 students are enrolled each year as technology design majors at U.T.N.’s National Higher Institute of Technical Professorship. This three-year program provides the opportunity to acquire the skills needed to enter the workforce, including producing functional high-quality products, selecting materials, determining the appropriate production processes, estimating costs and analyzing the marketplace to ascertain target sectors/opportunities, while keeping proper perspective on aesthetics and current trends. Students gain valuable, hands-on experience using computer-aided design/computer-aided engineering/computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAE/CAM) systems.

“The goal of the program is to give students real-life experiences that train them for the workforce,” says Carlos Melo, laboratory chief at U.T.N. “That‘s why during their final year in the program, students must complete a design project for a company, responding to a need or a specific design requirement. This gives students the opportunity to apply the different CAD, CAE and CAM tools they have utilized throughout their studies, while strengthening the link between academia and the workplace.”

The market demands Solid Edge

In 2004, U.T.N. selected Solid Edge® software and Femap™ software from Siemens PLM Software as its primary product development tools for the technology design degree program. “The need to incorporate tools such as Solid Edge and Femap comes from the market’s demand,” says Melo. “Today, a design professional cannot go to a manufacturing company and produce hand drawings. The process has become completely digital. That is why we engage all the necessary software for the entire product development process.”

U.T.N. sees Siemens PLM Software not only as one of the most advanced technology providers, but also views the Siemens team as being the most proactive in assisting the university with all of its requirements. As a result, today, the university has the latest 3D product design tools, including those used by leaders across industries and employed by other higher education institutions throughout the world. “We are proud that a state-owned university has this type of technological capability, with the tools required by today‘s demanding workplace,” says Melo. “This is just the beginning of what we want to have and offer our students in terms of PLM.”

Employment rate for graduates = over 90 percent

There are currently other institutions offering design degrees in Argentina, so the competition to attract students is becoming increasingly intense. However, U.T.N. continues to excel through a curriculum focused on the technological phases of the product lifecycle, as well as an emphasis on innovation in using the technology tools in its program.

Melo explains that the long-term vision of U.T.N., which focuses on offering students the best real-world knowledge, applications experience and opportunities, has helped attract some of the region’s best students. Indeed, the results are impressive. “The employment rate of our graduates is over 90 percent, because the local market needs professionals who understand PLM and have hands-on experience with advanced technology tools and real-world projects,” says Melo. “Companies rely on our university for quality graduates in design, engineering and manufacturing.”

“Siemens PLM Software provides us with a comprehensive package that has all the tools we need for the development of content and design, simulation and management of production processes,” explains Claudio Lázaro, director of the Technology Design Department at U.T.N. “We have similar business priorities, and U.T.N. and Siemens PLM Software have a long-term vision regarding value-add customer relationships.” He concludes, “We want our students to be successful and competitive in the workplace. Siemens PLM Software is helping us to achieve this goal.”

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