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Using Teardown Analysis as a Vehicle to Teach Electronic Systems Manufacturing Cost Modelling

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Product teardowns are used in an electronic systems cost modelling course at the University of Maryland. As part of a semester-long project, each student in the course chooses a product and determines its manufacturing cost using a combination of top-down cost analysis (to determine what the product must cost) and a detailed bottom-up model (that students calibrate using the top-down analysis). Products considered by students range from complex systems such as mobile phones to relatively simple systems such as memory sticks and McDonald's Happy Meal® toys. Using product teardowns and reverse engineering ideas has proved to be an effective vehicle for educating students on practical manufacturing cost modelling of systems and complements typical engineering economics analysis.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2009

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  • This journal serves as an international interdisciplinary forum of reference for engineering education.
    A balance between papers on developments in educational methods technology, case studies, laboratory applications, new theoretical approaches, educational policy and survey papers is aimed for.
    Comprehensive coverage of new education schemes and techniques makes the journal a unique source of ideas for engineering educators who are keen to keep abreast of latest developments in educational applications in all fields of engineering.
    Some of the areas covered more extensively in recent issues are: CAD, CAE, computer applications in teaching thermodynamics, material science, electrical engineering, new courses and curricula, engineering management, control engineering, mechanical engineering, engineering design, student evaluation and institutional accreditation.
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