Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Senior Design Projects Spring 2017

Second Place 2017 Design Expo Award Winner High Pressure Die Casting Vent Optimization

Team Members
Julia Scruton, Materials Science and Engineering, and Stephen Hanley, Mechanical Engineering

Advisor
Russ Stein, Materials Science and Engineering

Sponsor
Mercury Marine—Mercury Castings

Project Overview
High Pressure Die Cast (HPDC) tooling requires venting channels to be incorporated into their design to allow air to escape during the casting process. The channels must also manage the flow of metal to maintain pressure and properly fill the part during solidification. If the venting channel has a low restriction, the metal flows too fast and will exit the vents. If the venting channel is overly restrictive, the trapped air will introduce porosity in the cast part. A process design method will be developed with the understanding of how various venting channel features affect the complete venting design. This will lead to a faster design process of venting channels on future parts.


Honorable Mention 2017 Design Expo Award Winner Improved Inline Component Cleaning System

Team Members
Kat Donovan, Todd Krieger, Connor LeBombard, Thomas Mehall, and Stasia Rogers, Mechanical Engineering

Advisor
William Endres, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor
MacLean-Fogg Component Solutions

Project Overview
Our team is designing and prototyping a cleaning system for threaded components suitable for inline integration. Our system must store, feed, clean, dry, and convey a variety of parts, and be adaptable for the tappers, screw machines, and lathes


Honorable Mention 2017 Design Expo Award Winner Snowmobile Chassis Magnesium Component Design

Team Members
Adam Patrick, Alyssa Gafner, Drew Cederquist, Erika Harris, Greg Peters, and Nicholas Grygleski, Mechanical Engineering

Advisor
James DeClerck, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Sponsors
Polaris Industries

Project Overview
At a dry weight of 408 pounds, the 2017 Polaris 800 Pro-RMK 155 snowmobile is the lightest and strongest mountain snowmobile on the market. Polaris has tasked our team to help them remain the market leader of light and durable mountain snowmobiles. Mass reduction of the Polaris RMK chassis will be accomplished by investigating replacement of current aluminum cast components with magnesium cast components along with geometry changes. Our team is working towards achieving maximum mass reduction of the tank hold-down cast component specifically.


High Speed Bearing Temperature Profiling with Axial and Radial Loading

Team Members
Ken Barr and Kyle Rautio, Electrical Engineering; Don Bowlby and Joe Goudzwaard, Mechanical Engineering

Advisor
Aneet Narendranath, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor
Stryker Instruments

Project Overview
Our team has designed and built a bearing test fixture capable of spinning a high speed bearing under load and capturing temperatures under use.


Drill Attachment Coupling Mechanism

Team Members
Tabitha Gillman, Cole Aukee, Harry Hutton, Meridith Murley, and Hans Steven Creutz, Mechanical Engineering

Advisor
William Endres, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor
Stryker Instruments

Project Overview
This project gives students the opportunity to improve an existing product. The current motor accessory interface design of a medical drill manufactured by Stryker Instruments has been on the market for several years, and competing companies have started to shift to new products. To surpass the competition, our team is designing and assembling a new interface. The new design will help surgeons interchange drill accessories quickly, and the instrument will produce little noise while in use.


Truck Bed Storage System

Team Members
Sarah Corrion, Erica Huhta, Jake Kendziorski, Nick Kremkow, Justin McPherson, and Cameron Olsen, Mechanical Engineering

Advisor
Antonio Gauchia Babe, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor
Mahindra North America

Project Overview
Our team was tasked with designing a truck bed storage system that can meet unique demands while still providing the necessary space optimization needed for everyday projects. By researching customer specific needs, Mahindra North America has deemed the current storage system solutions inadequate, pushing to create a new system that can optimize the bed space trucks provide. Implementing an actuating 90-degree storage system with translational motion would be a game changer in the consumer truck industry. This system would potentially allow modification for additional attachment systems by using a versatile plate.


Fly Ash Hopper Clearing Device

Team Members
Alex Piotrowski, Brendan Hufnagel, Luke Peters, Ryan Warsen, and Nickolas Kill, Mechanical Engineering

Advisor
Aneet Narendranath, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor
DTE Energy

Project Overview
Fly ash is the remaining material left over from the combustion of coal. To meet current EPA guidelines, coal-fired power plants must utilize selective catalytic reduction systems and Flue Gas Desulfurization systems or a Dry Sorbent Injection, which causes increased amounts of fly ash. This places a strain on the fly ash collection systems, and causes pluggage of the collection hopper. It can also cause grounding of the precipitator sections. The customer identified a need for a specifically designed tool that can clear plugged hoppers safely.


Lighting Control Unit

Team Members
Alex Herbst and David Pariseau, Electrical Engineering; Garrett Hutcheson, Blake Martin, Aaron VanderWeide, and Sam Wachowski, Mechanical Engineering

Advisor
Antonio Gauchia Babe, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor
GHSP

Project Overview
Our team was tasked with creating a testing apparatus for GHSP that would activate and evaluate the functionality of LEDs mounted in the gear shifter housing on various vehicles. The primary goal of this project was to design a Lighting Control Unit (LCU) that can be used across multiple vehicle applications. This requires individually powering various configurations of LEDs with multiple control inputs and reporting specific electrical characteristics of the circuit. The LCU tests the function of each LED by using multiple PWM dimming presets to test for various driving and parked lighting conditions.


Fused-Cutout Mechanical Testing System

Team Members
Derrick Baer, Owen Buckley, Joel Olsen, Brandon Sparks, and Frank Worrell, Mechanical Engineering

Advisor
Aneet Narendranath, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor
MacLean Power Systems

Project Overview
The goal of this project was to characterize the mechanical forces seen on a fused cutout during a power surge. Because of these forces, components of the fused cutout have been experiencing failure in bending. Due to the high voltage and current flowing through the fused cutout during a power surge, traditional methods of measuring mechanical forces are much less reliable. To work in this strong electromagnetic-interference environment, the team used cantilever beam theory and digital image correlation to characterize the forces in the fused cutout. With this information, Maclean Power Systems can address the component failures in the fused cutout and work towards a solution.


Tailgate Debris Management and Adjustable Lift Assist

Team Members
Steven Alvey, Michael Fisher, Kendra Gburek, Riley Long, Max Mager, and Lauren Tetzloff, Mechanical Engineering

Advisor
Kevin Johnson, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Sponsors
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA)

Project Overview
FCA has tasked us with creating a debris management system to be used on the back of new and existing Dodge pickup truck models. Currently, gravel, sand, and mulch fall into the gap. This causes scratches and can lead to lost material. Our team was also tasked with creating an adjustable counterweight system to assist with a former senior capstone design project—a storage system within the tailgate that stores up to 30 lbs. This additional weight can interfere with closing the tailgate. Together, these products will add user ease to the Dodge brand.


Aircraft Refueling Stand System

Team Members
Michael Hoffman, Ellaina Cook, Jason Scott, Brenda Sauer, and Evan Frank, Mechanical Engineering

Advisor
Paul van Susante, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor
BETA Fueling

Project Overview
Our team has been tasked by BETA Fueling Systems to design, build, and test a prototype variable-height aircraft refueling stand with a modular nozzle-assist system. The stand is to be used in airports across the country, in all climates and conditions, to assist operators in refueling small- to medium-sized commercial jets. In addition to providing a spring-assisted adjustable height platform, our team has designed a pneumatic-piston mechanical arm that lifts the fueling nozzle with minimal operator effort.


Undersized Forging Detection System

Team Members
Cayman Berg-Morales, Devin Livingston, Rachel Pohlod, Brandon Rouze, and Evan Wallin, Mechanical Engineering

Advisor
William Endres, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor
MacLean-Fogg

Project Overview
Our team is working with MacLean-Fogg’s Metform division to create an inspection for transmission gear blanks that takes place as the gear blanks are manufactured to detect any underfilled blanks and remove them from the production line. The inspection system is being designed and prototyped to be fully autonomous, and to fit within the current manufacturing process at Metform’s machining facility.


Improved Snow Bucket

Team Members
Horatio Babcock, Kevin Kyle, Jay Pietila, Donald Shaner, Jiaqi Tang, and Kun Zhang, Mechanical Engineering

Advisor
Antonio Gauchia Babe, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor
Bobcat Company

Project Overview
Backdragging is the most common way snow is removed from areas near structures. When performed by skid-steer operators, backdragging is accomplished by lifting the snow bucket into the air, slowly approaching the structure, lowering the cutting edge until it contacts the ground, and then backing away from the structure. When a large capacity bucket is lifted into the air, the act of approaching a structure while maintaining sight of both the structure and the cutting edge becomes difficult. The design team created an accessory that will mount to the customer’s existing snow buckets in order to enhance visibility during backdragging operations and not cause damage to structures during use.


In-Cab Airborne Chemical Sensing System

Team Members
David Stephan, Nick Squanda, and Tom Price, Mechanical Engineering; Maegan Neil and Sevin Dennis, Computer Engineering

Advisor
Aneet Narendranath, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor
Richard W. Job

Project Overview
Environmental cab enclosures included on modern agricultural and mining equipment help to greatly reduce the exposure of operators to atmospheric dust and/or agricultural/industrial chemicals by operating at a positive pressure and filtering the air entering the cab enclosure. However, the filtering system can fail occasionally because of improper installation or structural damage to the filter. In this case, the operator may have no idea that their filter system has been compromised. The objective of this project was to design a system that would periodically challenge the filter system to determine its effectiveness and alert the operator if the concentration exceeds predetermined levels.


Automated Laser Marking System

Team Members
Joseph Halford, Mariana Caamano, and Jack Shepard, Mechanical Engineering; Kyle McGurk and Jacob Cavins, Electrical Engineering Technology

Advisor
Eddy Trinklein, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor
Nexteer

Project Overview
Our team is designing and creating an automated laser marking system to etch personalized markings onto aluminum objects.


DROP BEAR

Team Members
Steven Abramczyk, Helen Karsten, Jon Markl, Robert Minger, and Eric Passmore, Mechanical Engineering

Advisor
James DeClerck, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Sponsors
Air Force Research Labs, Munitions Directorate, Fuzes Branch

Project Overview
Researchers in the Air Force Research Laboratory, Munitions Directorate, Fuzes Branch are actively investigating the dynamics of structures/systems that reconfigure their response during the harsh environments of impact, penetration, and terminal ballistics. In order to develop technologies for sensing and adapting to this environment, we need to address a technical gap. Our laboratory needs an experimental testbed for implementing sensors and algorithms to predict/estimate time-varying dynamic responses during impact events and vibrational responses. A previous joint NSF-funded project between Michigan Tech and University of Massachusetts-Lowell, called the BEaR (Beam Excitation and Response), was developed to provide a tunable experimental testbed for modal analysis and structural dynamics courses. This previous effort is the inspiration for our project.