The Connected Curriculum initiative offers students access to Siemens’s simulation software including NX Mechatronics Concept Designer, Tecnomatix Plant Simulation, PLCSIM Advanced, TIA Portal, MindSphere and Mendix.
Since its inception, universities have used the programme to engage with dozens of businesses on a variety of projects.
At the University of Exeter, learners have helped manufacturer, Dana TM4, based in Chudleigh, Devon, achieve production line improvements.
The project involved using Siemens Tecnomatix Plant Simulation software to create a ‘digital twin’ of the production line to help identify improvements in the process.
Daniel Wilks, Advanced Manufacturing Engineering Manager, Dana TM4, said: “This proves the value learners have gained through using Siemens’ industrial software and shows how quickly they can use these tools to derive valuable insights for local manufacturers.
“Using the digital twin technology, the learners have identified manufacturing productivity improvements and provided the company with a range of alternative production line configurations and insights.
“It has been great to have students use Siemens’ technology and provide us an outsider’s perspective for our production units. The exercise helps us in reinforcing our own findings and move ahead with our planned upgrades and changes to increase productivity.”
The company has been so impressed by these solutions that it is keen to work further with the learners and is considering rolling out these findings across global manufacturing sites.
“Students gain from learning about current software and hardware, then show real-world companies how they might benefit from utilising the technology and gain more learning experience from working with companies,” added Wilks.
Teesside University is also using Connected Curriculum to forge links with businesses and support local SMEs with the development of bespoke MindSphere applications.
In tandem with this, Teesside University has also appointed Ross Caddens, Director of UK PreSales and Business Development for Siemens Digital Industries Software, as a visiting professor in Cyber-Physical Design. Through this Royal Academy of Engineering funded award Professor Caddens will work with staff to directly support students on a range of leading-edge technology projects.