PROGRAM: ERASMUS+ KEY ACTION 2 – STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP PROJECTS

NAME OF THE PROJECT:  Design of Curriculum for Woodworking CNC Operators in Turkey

CONTRACT NUMBER: 2014-1-TR01-KA200-013304

DURATION: 01/09/2014-31/08/2016

OBJECTIVE OF THE PROJECT:  Through the project, it is targeted to design a curriculum for woodworking CNC operators in Turkey.  It will be conducted a current situation analysis for the sector through  reviewing existing practices in the European Union, current situation and training needs of CNC operators in Turkey.

RATIONALE AND PROJECT SUMMARY
The impetus of Computer Aided Design (CAD) technologies in any discipline involved with design processes forces disciplines to develop new skills such as computer literacy, familiarity with computational technologies and a clear conception of “models.”  Today, CAD models are not simply a means of representations but are manifestations of complex parametric relations, non-standard yet customized systems or assemblies that hold the possibility of being directly translated into manufacturing or fabrication.  CAD technologies forced fabrication technologies to evolve; and consequently, Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) was introduced. CAM should be so integral to the design processes that any actor involved in the manufacturing or fabrication lifecycle, from designer to manufacturer, should be able to communicate through the model in any phase of the CAD/ CAM.

Currently, CAD/ CAM is the term that is used to describe the mutual relation between design and manufacturing with high precision, productivity and customization at any level. When it became apparent that data exchange was possible between CAD and CAM systems, the development of computer-aided CNC programming techniques and languages brought the CAD/CAM philosophy into existence.

Traditional NC machines have been replaced by CNC machines, allowing small or medium-sized manufacturing enterprises to add CAM to their manufacturing environment. The increase in the usage of personal computers also extended the usage of CAM within non-specialist manufacturing environments. As production information could be created and recreated with CAD, CAM techniques have become both easily accessible and easily applicable.

The previous requirement of specialized programming knowledge for machining was displaced with the emergence of CAD. Now, software is developed in parallel, with designers and production engineers able to generate models for the production of their designs in CAM.

Rapid developments and the availability of CAD/CAM technologies have forced design-related disciplines not only to change and improve their existing curricula. The proliferation of constantly-evolving CAD/ CAM technologies also necessitate a new designer/ practitioner profile in the design and fabrication practice. This designer/ practitioner will be able to follow state of the art modeling and fabrication technologies, as well as be able to design for fabrication or vice versa. In general, CAD/CAM is a whole system that starts with digital design and culminates in the production of the end product. The system has three major components as follows:

1) Digital interactive design and analysis environment (a CAD system)

2) Computer-aided manufacturing software (a CAM system)

3) One or more numerically controlled machines (CNC)

In the last 15 years, universities, various workshops, and on-the-job trainings resulted in the successful learning and teaching of CAD. One particular benefit of CAD training is the achievement of life-long learning activities, which is one of the goals of the Bologna Process. CAM technologies currently hold great potential, are relatively easy to use, and are widely accessible. The same cannot be said for learning, teaching, or use of CAM in various fields. One such case is that of furniture manufacturers and wood-work companies.

The furniture industry, and wood working in Turkey, are important both as standalone fields and/or as part of construction. There is a great size range of manufacturing companies, from very small workshops to large companies. However, they share some common problems, such as the training of operators and designers, in order to cope with the current technologies and being able to use the available technologies to their full potential.

Rapidly changing technologies producing continuously evolving capacities require continuous learning for the actors involved. This training is best described in the life-long learning goal of the Bologna Process. In this sense, the education of designers to fabricate, and education of operators to understand design models is extremely crucial for productivity, precision and to claim the benefits of available technologies.

It is essential, therefore, to have education programs targeting both the designers and operators of such technologies in order to create common ground for understanding each other, as well as to understanding the potentials of the technologies, and how to integrate, use, and interact with them.

Preparation of a curriculum for such a learning process, and implementation of it with all actors involved, is important to improve both quality and productivity, and to have more sustainable processes. The curriculum should aim to suit the learning and teaching of the current technology to suit the different user profiles. In particular, the curriculum should target operators as the very-end users, and to transform them into users who will be able to interact with both model and machine.

This project has been designed so as to design a curriculum for woodworking CNC operators in Turkey.  It will be conducted a current situation analysis of the sector through  reviewing existing practices in the European Union, analyzing current situation and training needs of CNC operators in Turkey. Besides, European partner organizations will provide short-term trainings in line with local partners. At the end of the project, project outputs will be disseminated through multiplier events.