Virtual Learning Environments for Manufacturing

Hamed F. Manesh, Dirk Schaefer

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Since the advent of globalization, the manufacturing industry has been subject to continuous pressure of
competition. Products have to be developed faster than before, with equivalent or higher quality, and at
significantly lower cost. Whilst modern manufacturing systems provide the technological edge to meet
these challenges, one tends to forget that education and training of the workforce also has to be kept
up-to-date. Only a workforce that is familiar with the latest advancements in the manufacturing sector
and well trained in the use of state-of-the-art technology and tools will be able to effectively face the
competition. Although fundamental education and training may have been provided by the academic
sector, employees need to continue developing their professional skills and competencies throughout
their entire professional life. One potential approach to education and training of engineers in the manufacturing
sector is the utilization of Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs). Such VLEs are currently
widely used for fundamental engineering education in academia, but they also hold a huge potential
for successful deployment in distributed corporate settings. Manufacturing-related VLEs may provide
employees at all sites of a company across the globe with an affordable and safe environment for education
and training, ranging from the fundamentals of modern manufacturing to expert level training in
manufacturing process planning and simulation, without any need for, or cost of, physical equipment,
materials, tools or travel. In this chapter the authors discuss how Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs)
for manufacturing-related education and training can be utilized in the corporate sector.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Research on Virtual Environments for Corporate Education: Employee Learning and Solutions
PublisherIGI Global
ISBN (Print)978-1615206193
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Virtual Leaning Environments
  • Manuifacturing Education


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