Research Article

The Skateboard Factory: a teaching case on discrete-event simulation

Mesquita, Marco Aurélio de; Mariz, Fernanda Barreto de Almeida Rocha; Tomotani, João Vitor

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Real-life applications during the teaching process are a desirable practice in simulation education. However, access to real cases imposes some difficulty in implement such practice, especially when the classes are large. This paper presents a teaching case for a computer simulation course in a production engineering undergraduate program. The motivation for the teaching case was to provide students with a realistic manufacturing case to stimulate the learning of simulation concepts and methods in the context of industrial engineering. The case considers a virtual factory of skateboards, which operations include parts manufacturing, final assembly and storage of raw materials, work-in-process and finished products. Students should model and simulate the factory, under push and pull production strategies, using any simulation software available in the laboratory. The teaching case, applied in the last two years, contributed to motivate and consolidate the students’ learning of discrete-event simulation. It proved to be a feasible alternative to the previous practice of letting students freely choose a case for their final project, while keeping the essence of project-based learning approach.


Project-Based Learning, Discrete-Event Simulation, Engineering Education.


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