Broadening participation in learning factories through industry 4.0

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Incorporation of the internet of things (IoT) devices into learning factories can broaden the range of students able to receive hands-on experiences in these spaces. Learning factories are usually populated by students studying manufacturing disciplines, traditionally Mechanical Engineering, Industrial Engineering, and Materials Science. The IoT, in which a proliferation of wireless sensors communicate with each other, is a defining characteristic of Industry 4.0. The evolution into this domain enables broader multi-disciplinary engagement in both the production manufacturing environment and the Learning Factory. For example, the disciplines of Computer Science and Computer Engineering now have opportunities to contribute through the design of appropriate sensors and analysis and use of the data they collect. The Learning Factory at Penn State University has partnered with an industrial provider to place 20 commercial sensors on our traditional manufacturing equipment (e.g., mills, lathes, etc.). Multi-disciplinary student teams, including students from Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Industrial Engineering, developed applications for clients from industry. After two semesters of projects where students are tasked with IoTthemed design problems, this work explores this activity and identifies challenges and lessons learned.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)534-539
Number of pages6
JournalProcedia Manufacturing
StatePublished - 2020
Event10th Conference on Learning Factories, CLF 2020 - Graz, Austria
Duration: Apr 15 2020Apr 17 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence


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