Activity Report of Open Application Course vol.3
Exchange in practical manufacturing with the Thai-Nichi Institute of Technology
Report from National Institute of Technology, Nagaoka College
From June 30 (Sun) to July 6 (Sat), 2019, a total of eleven people (ten students and one supervising teacher) from the Thai-Nichi Institute of Technology (TNI) visited Japan and participated in the “Exchange of Practical manufacturing (Monozukuri)” with students at our school. In this program, we simulated bridges by disasters by using LEGO Mindstorms, which is widely used as a tool for engineer training. Japan and Southeast Asia are particularly prone to natural disasters, and there is a concern that bridges may become unusable due to earthquakes and floods. Through the program exercises, the participating students learned basic programming skills, measurement methods using sensors, and basic knowledge on functional design. Students at Nagaoka College and TNI specialize in different fields such as machinery, electricity, control, materials, environment, automobile, and production. Through basic experiments, we deepened mutual understanding among students and promoted the exchange of practical manufacturing.
Students also sought to improve their communication skills by using English, Japanese, and Thai to perform group work. To facilitate this goal, Nagaoka College’s students started by conducting an ice-breaking session on the Japanese and Thai cultures in English. In addition, each group considered how to contribute to the resolution of social issues by using the material and technology which they studied. They then gave presentations in English. When creating their presentations, it was essential for students to share ideas for effective bridges in the event of a disaster, and to summarize these ideas within the allotted time. In this way, the program enabled participating students to improve both language skills and problem-solving skills. The way in which each student found a role on their team and worked positively was a great success. By using various languages to hold discussions within their group, students learned how to work in a global environment. This experience provided a basis for students to consider their career path from a different perspective.
Additionally, as part of the invitation program, students visited Katayama Steel Rule Die Incorporated in Nagaoka City. Katayama Steel Rule Die uses various processing machines to provide highly accurate die cuts suitable for each material. Employees provided detailed answers to the many questions asked by TNI students from beginning to end. Participants learned that the product packages which they use during daily life are supported by high-precision technology. Furthermore, during the program period, students deepened their understanding of Niigata history by visiting the Niigata Prefectural Museum of History. They also learned about the Higashiyama Oil Field that was the starting point of the industry in the Nagaoka area. Moreover, on the way to the airport for their flight home, the students visited Tokyo Skytree to learn about the latest construction technology. They also obtained a great deal of knowledge about the latest science and technology at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation.
During the training, participants strengthened the friendly relationship between Japan and Thailand by deepening exchanges in the field of science and technology. The program also promoted globalization of Nagaoka College. In closing, I would like to express my sincere gratitude for the immense support received from the Sakura Science Exchange Program. I hope that all participants will use their knowledge to develop the ability to consider topics such as science, technology, socio-economics, and environmental issues throughout the entire Asian region and on a global scale.