Senior Design Projects Spring 2013

 Lightweight Swing Gate

Lightweight Swing Gate

Team Members

Thomas Schmidt, Eric Lindholm, Katherine Schattl, Caleb Carlson, and Andy Wybo, Mechanical Engineering

Advisor

Charles Van Karsen

Sponsor

Chrysler

Project Overview

Students must design, engineer, build, and test a new lightweight swing gate for 25 percent mass reduction and insertion into the current Jeep Wrangler. The new design has to uphold standard structural and durability requirements while being able to be manufactured.

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Caterpillar Extendable Boom

Caterpillar Extendable Boom

Team Members

Andrea Klumpp, Gareth Tomlinson, Robert Jane, Andrew Kremkow, and Luka Stupar, Mechanical Engineering

Advisor

Gordon Parker

Sponsor

Caterpillar, Kent Smith

Project Overview

Our team is developing a variable-length boom for a Caterpillar Pipelayer. This boom will have the ability to extend from 24 to 28 feet. The transition from the 24- to the 28-foot length position is performed through the rotation of extension bars that are attached to the boom end. These extension bars are attached to a cross beam while at the 24-foot position and are detached from the cross beam to extend to the 28-foot position.

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Jaipur Foot Improvements

Jaipur Foot Improvements

Team Members

Miriam Paquet and Reid Barber, Mechanical Engineering; Stephanie Boomgaard, Ben Cottrill, and Kevin Peterson, Biomedical Engineering

Advisor

Dr. Nina Mahmoudian

Sponsor

Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering
Mechanics

Project Overview

The Jaipur foot was developed to provide an
amputee in India with a simple, practical, and lowcost
prosthetic that is compatible with an active
and culturally appropriate lifestyle. In 2011, a design
team successfully made improvements to the
Jaipur foot to reduce its weight. The new objective
was to improve compatibility of materials with
the manufacturing process, while maintaining the
affordability and functionality of the foot. The project
culminated with a trip to India to meet with Dr. Anil
Jain and observe patient use of the prosthetic.

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Rail Car Coupler

Rail Car Coupler

Team Members

Alyssa Sahr, Materials Science and Engineering; Francis Bremmer, Yidan Lou, and Justin Tumberg, Mechanical Engineering; Kyle Pepin, Civil Engineering

Advisor

Paul van Susante

Sponsor

NuRail Center and Michigan Tech Rail Transportation Program

Project Overview

The mechanism used to link rail cars in the heavy freight rail industry is known as a coupler. The coupler has not been significantly redesigned since the original patent in 1873. The current coupler can have mechanical failure during use. The knuckle of the coupler fractures, causing costly delays when the cars detach. The team has studied coupler performance, and designed and tested a prototype to increase the fatigue life of the knuckle.

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Hand-Crank Cycle Integration

Hand-Crank Cycle Integration

Team Members

Bethany Aebli, Greg DeVillers, Jacqueline Kukulsi, Elizabeth Reinke, and Alicia Walby, Mechanical Engineering

Advisor

Paul van Susante

Sponsor

General Motors

Project Overview

Hand cycles for disabled athletes are currently unreliable and require designs that meet their needs while remaining competitive. The need for a newly designed hand cycle was voiced by Achilles Freedom Team members and heard by GM. Four Senior Design teams began designing two different alpha prototypes in January 2012, and they were completed in December 2012. Our team has taken the best designs from the two alpha prototypes and integrated them into a single beta prototype with further optimization and new design.

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 Low-Cost Prosthetic Knee

Low-Cost Prosthetic Knee

Team Members

Robert Pizzey, David Weyland, and Ruth Eischer, Biomedical Engineering; James Hartel, Mechanical Engineering

Advisor

Nina Mahmoudian

Sponsor

Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Project Overview

Our team is redesigning and evaluating a costoptimized prosthetic knee joint created by a previous Senior Design team. The joint must be manufactured in India with local materials and be affordable for the hospital and patients. We have settled on a four-bar linkage design with a variable friction element to provide adjustable resistance to the user.

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 Automated Sealant System

Automated Sealant System

Team Members

Brian Dvorak, Peter Denney, Joseph Trapp, Carl Drache, Paul Zimmerman, and Brian Boyce, Mechanical Engineering

Advisor

Charles Margraves

Sponsor

HGS Aerospace

Project Overview

Aircraft wing spars (structural members) are currently sealed using a manual process that is very time consuming. HGS Aerospace is seeking an automated solution that would allow this process to be completed much faster. The team must design a nozzle that can apply the sealant to an aircraft wing spar according to industry specifications. To validate that the nozzle is accurate, a test system must also be designed to simulate an actual application process.

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Hatchback Rear Header

Hatchback Rear Header

Team Members

Scott Thompson, Daniel Polovich, Benjamin Kloster, Jacob Bruggink, and Clayton Brown, Mechanical Engineering

Advisor

Charles Van Karsen

Sponsor

Chrysler

Project Overview

Our goal is to design, engineer, and build a rear header/liftgate hinge system on a compact vehicle.

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Helical Gear Differential Test Rig

Helical Gear Differential Test Rig

Team Members

Team Members David Couillard, Brandon Hein, Zachary Hersch, and Keegan Post, Mechanical Engineering

Advisor

Bill Endres

Sponsor

American Axle and Manufacturing/p>

Project Overview

American Axle and Manufacturing (AAM) requested a test rig be built to evaluate surface treatments of their differential housings. This rig should test different surface treatments applied to differential housing to determine the best for wear prevention. Currently, AAM uses a full axle and differential, which is both costly and time consuming in addition to the catastrophic failures that compromise their results. This is a continuation of past Senior Design teams who were unable to achieve repeatable accuracy in their testing, as required by AAM.

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Tyco Foam Proportioner

Tyco Foam Proportioner

Team Members

Andrew Schrader, Andrew Nienow, Liz Nunn, Jacob Budnick, David Flint, and Kevin Hency, Mechanical Engineering

Advisor

Charles Margraves and William Endres

Sponsor

Tyco Fire Suppression

Project Overview

Our team is trying to develop a unique foam concentrate proportioner to be used in an industrial setting for Tyco. The current proportioning system distributes the foam concentrate into water at correct proportions, but this is accomplished by various designs, each with limited abilities. Tyco is looking for a design that can encompass all advantages and minimize the disadvantages. This will be accomplished by challenging fresh minds to develop a new, innovative design.

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Meritor Axle Carrier Weight Reduction

Meritor Axle Carrier Weight Reduction

Team Members

Nick Harris, Michael Ponte, Le Lin, and Michael Hubble, Mechanical Engineering

Advisor

Michael LaCourt

Sponsor

Meritor

Project Overview

Our goal is to decrease the dry weight of a current axle by 100 pounds or 25 percent. Due to a decreased input load to the new systems, major components have been scaled down in order to decrease the weight. A new carrier housing has been developed that is cast of aluminum rather than gray iron. In order to verify the scaling and geometric changes, shafts have been tested based on maximum input torque.ications. To validate that the nozzle is accurate, a test system must also be designed to simulate an actual application process.

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Portable Assisted Mobility Device

Portable Assisted Mobility Device

Team Members

Dominic Augustine, Beau Byers, John Zarafonitis, Xiaoyu Song, and Craig Watson, Mechanical Engineering; Lloyd Tubbs, Electrical Engineering; Dayna Pomeroy, Accounting; Jiang Qiu and Chad Pietila, Marketing

Advisor

William Endres and Roger Woods

Sponsor

Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Project Overview

Heavily populated cities are facing problems with congestion; the purpose of the PAMD is to alleviate these problems by bridging the gap between the public transit station and the end destination. The PAMD is a personal transportation device to replace road vehicles or walking in congested urban areas. The criteria defining the device are: a singleuser system, powered by electric motor, which transports the rider to or from public transportation stations. This PAMD must incorporate a level of portability allowing users to move or carry it throughout crowded cities and transit systems.

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 Nexteer Rack Bearing Improvement

Nexteer Rack Bearing Improvement

Team Members

Stewart Eddy, Chadwick Kern, Shawn Lesko, and Matthew Verbiscus, Mechanical Engineering

Advisor

Charles Van Karsen and Gordon Parker

Sponsor

Nexteer Automotive

Project Overview

The specific causes of a steering column rattle are unknown, so Nexteer needs an inexpensive way to locate and eliminate any rattle within the system. We have been tasked to create an analytical model and design a prototype of a conventional rack-andpinion power-steering system. We will construct a computer model to locate the rattle and then validate the results of the model by constructing a prototype.

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Extension Ladder

Extension Ladder

Team Members

Kyle Kovacs, Aaron Lilly, John Sand, and Huajun Ni, Mechanical Engineering

Advisor

Bill Endres

Sponsor

Jershon Inc.

Project Overview

We are designing an extension ladder with an automatic leveling system integrated into the design. We are completing the extension ladder project for Butch Kurzer of Jershon Inc., working with a second Senior Design team, which has designed the ladder-leveling system. The most important constraint for the system integration project is that the ladder is 29 feet in length when fully extended. Also, the ladder system should meet a 30 percent weight reduction from the target ladder. All design aspects must meet all ANSI standards that apply.

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Tactical Traverse Apparatus

Tactical Traverse Apparatus

Team Members

Karl Gubert, Mary Gardner, Ben Daavettila, Cole Hume, Chelsea Ruff, Nathan Saliga, and Benjamin Kalis, Mechanical Engineering

Advisor

Jeff Allen

Sponsor

Air Force Research Lab

Project Overview

The Air Force Research Lab has organized a design competition between universities across the country: develop a tactical traversing apparatus for use by airmen on the ground during missions. Current solutions include avoiding the obstacles, crossing without a tool, or bringing a bulky and cumbersome aluminum ladder. The apparatus will be judged at the competition by criteria such as spanning length, weight, carrying capacity, compacted volume, additional functions, etc.

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