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Smart Production Systems

Learn what it takes to optimize productivity

Smart Production Systems (SPS) are manufacturing systems capable of self-diagnosing and autonomously designing optimal continuous improvement projects. This online course provides an introduction to SPS technology and relation with Industry 4.0, enabling learners to participate in the design, implementation, and operation of PMA-based SPS.

Key Information

Open Registration


GO BLUE Discounts
Limited-time refund policy through July 2020

Start Date



4-6 Hours



Continuing Education Units (CEU)


Program Overview

  • Introduction to SPS, PMA, and PMA-based SPS (38 min)
  • SPS vs Other Managerial Techniques (31 min)
  • Types of Production Systems, Machine and Buffer Parameters, and Performance Metrics used in PSE and PMA (42 min)
  • PSE and PSE Toolbox concepts embedded in PMA (48 min)
  • PSE Toolbox Modules for Performance Analysis, Bottleneck Identification, and What-if Analysis (24 min)
  • PSE Toolbox Modules for Leanness Lead Time Analysis and Control, MJP Performance Portrait, and Quality (37 min)
  • PMA and PMA-based SPS Architecture, SPS Databases, and Steps for SPS Deploymentt (44 min)
  • Demonstration of PMA-based SPS Operation at Large and Small Production Systems (57 min)
  • Course Summary and Extensions (28 min)
Time Commitment and Work Pace

Each course contains 4-6 hours of online instruction divided into shorter modules to make it easy to learn at your own pace.

You will have 180 days from your course start date to complete the course.

Completion Requirements

Successful completion requires you to view all course modules and receive an 80% passing grade on the course assessment. Upon completing these requirements, you will earn a digital badge for your resume or LinkedIn page.

Certificate Option and Specializations

Upon successful completion of 4 CCET courses, you will receive a U-M Certificate of Achievement.

Select 4 courses from one concentration to deepen your knowledge in a subject or area. If you choose a specialization, your certificate will note the specialization you completed.

Prerequisites & Technical Requirements

There are no prerequisites for this course. A bachelor's degree in a science, engineering, or technical field is recommended but not required.

To view technical requirements, click here.


Administrative/Online Technical Support

Support staff are available via phone and email to help with administrative and technical issues during our normal business hours (Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time).

Learning Objectives

  • Acquire understanding of the field of Smart Production Systems, namely, SPS structure, information requirements, and potential effectiveness
  • Acquire a working knowledge of Programmable Manufacturing Advisor, enabling the PMA application for designing effective continuous improvement project
  • Develop skills necessary for managing PMA-based SPS
  • Be able to participate in programming and installation of PMA-based SPS on the factory; specifically, assisting in developing a mathematical model of the production system at hand and forming the equipment status database
  • Be able to evaluate SPS efficacy, as compared with other types of production systems management (i.e., by experience, intuition, discrete-event simulations, etc.)

instructional team

Pooya Alavian
Pooya Alavian
Research Assistant, College of Engineering
Semyon Meerkov
Semyon Meerkov
Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, College of Engineering
Liang Zhang
Liang Zhang
Professor, College of Engineering, University of Connecticut


The course instructors, Drs. S. Meerkov, L. Zhang, and P. Alavian, have financial interests in and serve as officers of Smart Production Systems LLC, Ann Arbor, MI.

Post Program

Digital Badge

Earn a digital badge for your resume or professional profile:

A preview of what a digital badge for a course might look it. A blue, badge-shaped graphic with the Nexus logo and an icon corresponding to the field of study.


A certificate in your course of study will be awarded upon successful completion of this program.

A preview of what a course certificate of completion might look like.

“This program was very suitable for my team and beneficial for us to understand new technologies...[our] engineers can work at their own pace.”

- Supervisor, Ford Motor Company