College - Author 1

College of Engineering

Department - Author 1

Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BS in Industrial Engineering

College - Author 2

College of Engineering

Department - Author 2

Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering Department

Degree - Author 2

BS in Manufacturing Engineering



Primary Advisor

Daniel Waldorf, College of Engineering, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering Department


California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly) takes pride of supporting one of the nation’s strongest undergraduate Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering programs. However, as industry evolves to accommodate advancing computing power, improved manufacturing algorithms, and improved robotics, it is imperative that Cal Poly’s curriculum evolves in parallel. Smart manufacturing is the future of the manufacturing industry, and Cal Poly is searching for the ideal method to teach and integrate Smart Manufacturing into its classes. With its upcoming switch to the semester system, coupled with its “Learn by Doing” motto, the department is at an ideal period for the integration of advanced technology to revamp their lecture and lab programs.

While smart manufacturing is a broad subject, it can be boiled down to a simple definition, “a technology driven approach that utilizes internet-connected machinery to monitor the production process. The goal of smart manufacturing is to identify opportunities to automate operations and use data analytics to improve manufacturing performance” (Burns, 2019). Smart manufacturing can vary from plant to plant but is centralized around the integration of IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) with computers, sensors, hardware, or software. In today’s post-pandemic environment, the importance and relevancy of smart manufacturing continues to grow. With smart manufacturing, organizations are unlocking new methods of furthering both economic and environmental sustainability.

While smart manufacturing has only grown in importance and relevancy over the past decade, it has not yet been integrated in Cal Poly’s Industrial and Manufacturing (IME) curriculum. Furthermore, there are large quantities of data collected during IME laboratory activities, yet IME lab activity data collection and learning processes do not mirror current industry practices. Currently, there is no infrastructure for professors to conduct groundbreaking, relevant research on smart manufacturing within the IME department. All these needs propose a challenge that needs to be addressed: how to incorporate smart manufacturing principles and hands-on experience into an evolving curriculum effectively and sustainably?

Group 16 plans on laying the framework for smart manufacturing technology within Cal Poly’s IME department. This report will outline their research and approach to tacking the lack of smart manufacturing within the IME department and will illustrate their final deliverables: a physical and digital infrastructure that emphasizes smart manufacturing technology (that is accessible to both students and professors alike), a user guide of software to operate this system, and a lab activity that has been tailored for the instruction of smart manufacturing in specific classes. This foundation will foster the growth and learning of smart manufacturing within the Cal Poly IME department for years to come.