The ISO standards for the Geometrical Product Specification and Verification (GPS) define an internationally uniform symbol language, that allows expressing unambiguously and completely all requirements for the micro and macro geometry of a product with the corresponding requirements for the inspection process in technical drawings, taking into account current possibilities of measurement and testing technology. This avoids ambiguities and inconsistencies during the planning of manufacturing and inspection processes and in addition costs through time-consuming arrangements between the client and suppliers.
The GPS that is inherently inscribed in design of mechanical parts plays important role in the competitiveness of a company and essential in client-supplier co-operation.
Basing on the experiences of the consortium members and especially industrial partner VW, one can be sure that both the companies and engineers await a high quality training offer in the range of Geometrical Product Specification and Verification. The fact that such recognized player in the automotive industry which is VW considers the problem as important proves for the necessity of serious addressing the issue.
The GPS-VToolbox project produced innovating curriculum content and structure. The curriculum was developed by taking into account current trends in engineering education as well as practice-based cases.
Consortium consists of very well experienced partners and experts in the proposed subject. The coordinating institution is University of Bielsko-Biala (Poland). Other involved partners are: Warsaw University of Technology (Poland), Friedrich-Alexander-Universitat Erlangen Nurnberg (Germany), Universita Degli Studi di Padova (Italy), Universitatea Tehnica Cluj-Napoca (Romania), University of Huddersfield (UK), Interstaatliche Hochschule fur Technik Buchs NTB (Switzerland), Ecole Normale Superieure de Cachan (France), and Volkswagen AG (Germany). Most of the consortium members participated in common EU projects concerned with vocational training. Members of the consortium have expert knowledge in wide range of areas, and this way have complementary competences in the subject.
The main product of the project, i.e. the training offer on "Geometrical Product Specification and Verification as a toolbox to meet up-to-date requirement", was developed by using a Blended-Learning methodology.
The contents is imparted by eLearning-modules that are basically meant for web-based access. Yet, the modules can be provided in a format that enables also offline use, to meet possible restrictions of Internet usage for employees in industry. The eLearning content consists of explanatory text, enriched (where applicable) with graphics, videos, animations, simulations, practical examples and tasks for the learner self-testing.
Each learning module was developed by authors of 2 different Universities and additionally the content was revised by 3rd member of the consortium. The content includes also a quizes in form of a comprehension questions to enable verification of learning level by the user. Due to extensive use of specialized terms the English language revision had to be performed by a native speaker expert in GPS.
The proposed curriculum includes following chapters (in parenthesis authors, co-authors and reviewers):
- Geometrical characteristics (WUT, UH, rev. UniPD)
- Thirteen ISO fundamental principles (WUT, ENS, rev. TUC)
- Linear Sizes (WUT, UH, rev. UniPD)
- ISO system of limits and fits (WUT, UH, rev. UniPD)
- Angular Sizes (FAU, UBB, rev. ENS)
- Geometrical tolerances (FAU, UBB, rev. NTB)
- Tolerances of form (FAU, UBB, rev. NTB)
- Datums (UTC, WUT, rev. UniPD)
- Tolerances of orientation (UBB, ENS, rev. FAU)
- Tolerances of location (ENS, UNIPD, rev. WUT)
- Profile tolerancing (NTB, UTC, rev. ENS)
- Tolerances of runout (UniPD, NTB, rev. ENS)
- Material modifiers (WUT, TUC, rev. ENS)
- Other modifiers (WUT, TUC, rev. ENS)
- General tolerances (TUC, FAU, rev. UBB)
- Complex geometrical features (UBB, UniPD, rev. UTC)
- Surface texture (UH, NTB, rev. UBB)
- Tolerancing of assemblies (FAU-WUT rev. ENS)
- Dimensional chains (WUT-FAU rev. ENS)
- Measurement uncertainty (UBB-NTB rev. UniPD)
- Decision rules (WUT-ENS rev. TUC)
- Guidelines for the selection of measuring equipment (UP, rev. all)
- Verification by using conventional measuring devices (TUC-WUT rev. ENS)
- Verification by using measuring machines (NTB-UBB revFAU)
- Verification by using non-contact coordinate measuring systems (UniPD-TUC rev. UH)
- Verification by using of form testers (ENS-UniPD rev. UBB)
- Verification in micro- and nanoscale (FAU-UH rev. NTB)
- Verification of surface roughness (UH-FAU rev. WUT)
- Verification by limit gauges (WUT-ENS rev. TUC)
- Calibration of measuring equipment (UBB-NTB rev. FAU)
Target audience of the project outputs were industrial workers and engineers using up-to-date GPS documentation of the requirements of manufactured parts. The exploitation plan foresees usage of the output material for vocational training of industry employees especially automotive and aviation industries. Via dissemination activities and Multiplier Events performed by all partners a significant number of the members of target audience was introduces to the project. In all cases the feedback received was very positive.
Another group which was introduced to the subject of the project are students of mechanical engineering faculties. These students are in near future beginning their first jobs in machine design industry. The acquisition of new skills will improve employment opportunities for them. During the project a few groups of students at different partner Universities were testers of the learning material and platform functionality.
The developed course can be a step for the establishment of a standardized and European-wide harmonized educational offer for the vocational training and lifelong learning of mechanical engineers.