Case Study

University partners with Siemens PLM Software to enhance quality of teaching and engineering practices

Hangzhou Dianzi University

Hangzhou Dianzi implements NX and Teamcenter as it launches an Industrie 4.0 smart factorylab technical solution

Emphasizing education

Hangzhou Dianzi University (HDU) is a major provincial higher education institution focused on electronics and information technology. Due to the opportunities presented by the Industrie 4.0 and China Manufacturing 2025 strategic initiatives, HDU has made significant contributions to the local economic and social development of Zhejiang Province. In order to accelerate discipline-specific comprehensive reform, talent cultivation and technological cooperation, the HDU School of Mechanical Engineering has decided to further promote industry-school research cooperation.

Product lifecycle management (PLM) specialist Siemens PLM Software offers a comprehensive industry-school, disciplinespecific reform program. The program is intended to support relevant fields in carrying out comprehensive reforms, create a series of teaching materials, drive relevant departments to restructure the contents of teaching through cooperation with enterprises, optimize curriculum systems and improve teaching quality. It is open to students who are studying mechanical and electrical engineering as well as all relevant disciplines at higher education institutions across China

Since its entry into the Chinese market, product lifecycle management (PLM) specialist Siemens PLM Software has always placed great emphasis on cooperation with higher education institutions and has established excellent relationships with numerous institutions. Siemens PLM Software adopted systems for cooperating with HDU that are comprehensive, quick to implement and highly effective.

Common goals lead to cooperation

The reform project was jointly launched by Siemens LTD., China, with the Chinese Ministry of Education in 2013.

“HDU chose Siemens PLM Software as its partner because we value their technical strength and superior products,” says Chen UniversityGuojin, dean of the School of Mechanical Engineering at Hangzhou Dianzi University. For several consecutive years, Siemens PLM Software has been rated by independent PLM consulting and research agency CIMdata as the best PLM solution provider for the computer-aided design (CAD) and digital manufacturing fields in China.

In addition, Siemens PLM Software is also a pioneer in Industrie 4.0, the fourth stage of industrialization.

Siemens PLM Software is not only technically advanced, it is also a leading-edge firm that is widely recognized by Chinese corporate users and enjoys a strong position among Chinese enterprises,” says Chen.

The ultimate objective of higher education institutions is to cultivate engineering talent for enterprises. HDU adheres to the mission of helping students consolidate the theoretical foundation, focusing on compounding their knowledge across key manufacturing and engineering applications. From this perspective, HDU and Siemens PLM Software share a common objective: serve enterprises by providing competent engineers. This shared goal naturally leads to strong cooperation.

At the time of the launch, HDU implemented Siemens PLM Software’s NX™ software and Teamcenter® software. Since 2014, Siemens PLM Software has also provided an Industrie 4.0 smart factorylab technical solution. HDU has provided NX training sessions for engineering students in their metalwork-relevant internship periods. In the second half of 2015, Siemens PLM Software also gave lectures on NX and Teamcenter as part of a variety of related courses. Students are encouraged to take a certification exam. With the staged implementation of the project, additional teaching and practices are planned for launch. The program will be adjusted, as needed, as part of a built-in continuous improvement plan.

Full support

Siemens PLM Software’s solutions support students during their four-year learning process without interruption. Teaching is carried out in accordance with the pace of project implementation. In the first year, students will receive an overview of the future factory via the Smart Factory Test System. In the second year, students will engage the mechanical CAD/computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) curriculum, learning NX and Teamcenter. Course work includes master product design methods and computerized management of manufacturing engineering information as well as mechatronics design. In the third year, students are introduced to the automated manufacturing system curriculum, where they will learn to use Teamcenter, which naturally bolsters their knowledge of product data management (PDM) and affords them big-picture perspective in understanding PLM. In the fourth year, students will receive intensive training on NX, mechatronics and Teamcenter and, in combination with a smart factory test system, receive a thorough introduction to Industrie 4.0, including related design, manufacturing and management methods.

As part of the comprehensive educational project, Siemens provides NX, Teamcenter and the Digital Enterprise Software Suite (Siemens’ answer to Industrie 4.0 requirements), as well as comprehensive support services, including teacher training sessions and lectures for senior technicians.

All of the HDU teachers who give lectures are trained and certified by Siemens PLM Software. In 2014, the HDU School of Mechanical Engineering sent the first 11 teachers to Shanghai for NX training. Upon passing examinations and receiving qualification certificates, they were ready for comprehensive product development curricula specific to NX. In the second half of 2014, HDU School of Mechanical Engineering sent two teachers to Siemens PLM Software Shanghai to receive six months of training that was focused on Teamcenter and mechatronics, which prepared them for more in-depth PLM and mechatronics training.

Cultivating future engineers

This joint Siemens PLM Software-HDU project is different from ordinary industry-school cooperation projects. Cooperation in this project extends from single software products to the development of systems for integrated platform delivery. An Industrie 4.0 smart factory test system, utilizing PLM software packages, is intended to cultivate skilled engineers who excel at industrialization and computerization, are able to guide the direction of future smart manufacturing development and build the HDU School of Mechanical Engineering into a home for cultivating excellent engineers.

A smart factory can provide a vivid and intuitive experience, enabling students who possess no hands-on experience to have a complete picture of future industrial production and services, as well as to acquire a mastery of Industrie 4.0 smart manufacturing technology.

“Siemens PLM Software solutions played a critical role in the process of developing the smart factory test system,” says Chen. “This is why they chose the PLM solutions from Siemens PLM Software.”

The smart factory comprehensive test system, which utilizes Industrie 4.0’s software, hardware, data computing and network communication, consists of two parts. The first part is PLM, which features product planning, design, manufacturing and service; this part of the system adopts the PLM solution of Siemens PLM Software. The second part is the digital factory based on big data, cloud computing and the internet, combining information technologies for flexible manufacturing and logistics control; this part of the system adopts Siemen’s manufacturing execution system SIMATIC IT and a totally integrated automation solution (TIA) for seamless connection of information.

Chen is optimistic about this smart teaching practice platform that integrates both software and hardware. In his opinion, this test system is customized with strong local industry features and mixed loading capabilities, enabling smart factory work processes such as ordering from cell phone application (app) clients, digital design, web-based collaborative manufacturing, modern packing, logistics, etc. The program is essential for implementing the China Manufacturing 2025 strategy for accelerating the transformation of China from a big manufacturer to a strong manufacturer, and for accelerating the transformation of Zhejiang Province from a big equipment manufacturer to a strong equipment manufacturer by fusing industrialization and computerization.

A “huge success”

The effect of this project was progressively reflected in the teaching process, and was considered a huge success by teachers and students who participated in it.

According to Chen, Siemens PLM Software has attached a great deal of importance to this project, in part illustrated by the number of the company’s executives who have visited the school. A strategic cooperation agreement between HDU and Siemens PLM Software was signed in 2014. After that, Siemens PLM Software sent a technical team to assist the HDU School of Mechanical Engineering and enterprises to jointly develop an automobile hub bearing smart assembly test system, which enabled the comprehensive and quick buildup of the teaching practice platform system. In the process of developing the test system, the technical team conducted six research projects at various enterprises, collaborating on plan implementation with the teachers.

HDU leaders attached high importance to, and gave relentless support for, this cooperation project, and the School of Mechanical Engineering and the Test Equipment Department participated in the implementation from beginning to end. In strict accordance with the cooperation plan and demonstrating a project well underway, HDU completed teaching NX and Teamcenter; sent teachers to participate in professional training as well as obtain hands-on experiences at select enterprises; revised the teaching plan and program; designed tests and compiled test instruction.

“Between the efforts of the technical experts from Siemens PLM Software and the cooperation of the teachers and students of HDU, we believe an Industrie 4.0 smart factory test system will provide us with more value than we ever expected,” says Chen.

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