Technical Minors

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The Department of Industrial Studies offers eight different technical minors, plus a cross-discipline renewable energy minor.  All manufacturing technology management majors are required to earn a technical minor. 

A concrete pump being used to pour a deck

Building Construction Management

Coursework includes drafting techniques, computer-aided drafting (CAD), building materials, estimating, scheduling, contracts, and change orders. This minor would essentially supplement any other major within the department. Whether considering employment within the private sector, a government agency, or any other organization, a background in building construction management is extremely advantageous should an employer need to build or remodel their facilities.

A 3-axis CNC milling machining center

Computer Integrated Manufacturing

A number of definitions have been developed for computer-integrated manufacturing (CIM). However, a CIM system is commonly thought of as an integrated system which encompasses all the activities in the production system from the planning and design of a product through the manufacturing system, including control.

CIM is an attempt to combine existing computer technologies in order to manage and control the entire business. CIM is the approach that many companies are using to get to the automated factory of the future.

As with traditional manufacturing approaches, the purpose of CIM is to transform product designs and materials into sellable goods at a minimum cost in the shortest amount of time. CIM begins with the design of a product and ends with the manufacture of that product. With CIM, the customary split between the design and manufacturing functions is (supposed to be) eliminated.

Topic areas covered in this minor are as follows:

  •     Product Machining and Manufacturing
  •     CNC Machining Processess
  •     Three Dimensional CADD
  •     Industrial Control Systems
  •     Industrial Robots
  •     Industrial Laser Application
Using CAD to check tolerances and fits for parts in an assembly

Drafting and Product Development Technology

Every thing manufactured requires a set of plans. Creating a set of plans is more than merely drawing and dimensioning the product... it needs to be developed. This means the product needs to be designed so it is physically possible for it to be made and, in most cases, manufactured in large quantities. Students earning this minor will learn how to design products not only to meet the end user's needs, but to become readily manufactured.

A student working with a robot in a manufacturing work cell

Industrial Control Systems Technology

All types of machines and tools are used to manufacture the various products that we as a society need or want.  As the materials—whether it is metal, wood, plastic, ceramic, or something else—are manufactured, the machines doing all the cutting, shaping, molding, etc. need to be controlled.  Students taking this minor will learn how to use electrical, electronic, and fluid power systems and monitor and control the equipment used in the manufacturing processes.

Pouring cast iron

Metals Processing Technology

Essentially every product manufactured, all foods processed from the field to the store shelf, every fiber made into clothing, and etc... will require some type of metal or machine to process and manufacture the product. Students earning this minor will learn about the various properties of metal, the different varieties of metal, and all the basic processes to shape, mold, cut, weld, and otherwise process metal components.

Students being trained in the use of fire extinquishers

Occupational Safety Management

The OSM minor is invaluable to any student within the department. Although this minor will primarily focus on safety practices in manufacturing and construction, every organization desires a safe environment for their employees and their customers. Topics studied include Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), safety policies and law, Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), fire protection, ergonomics, and many more.

The commercial blow forming machine found in the Plastics Lab

Plastics Processing Technology

Essentially every product on today's market has some plastic components. If not, the packaging for the product is probably made of plastic. Students desiring this minor will learn about the properties of various plastic materials and how plastic parts are manufactured. A major topic of study is the design of the molds required to produce plastic parts.

Students adding flux to a crucible of molten cast iron

Production and Manufacturing Management

This minor focuses on the design, implementation, and management of manufacturing production lines.  

A windmill in a field; a tractor pulling a sprayer; an ethanol manufacturing plant

Renewable Energy 

This is an inter-disciplinary minor within the Sustainable and Renewable Energy Systems (SRES) department.  

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