With an educational mission, KRC combines full-time engineering staff with Michigan Tech engineering students to create a unique and cost effective research and development team. Our primary goals are to engage, collaborate, learn, serve, and teach. Using current and relevant CAD and CAE tools, our engineering team handles the mechanical, electrical, and software development tasks for the center.
Possessing a full range of engineering development capabilities including access to university resources, researchers routinely use an iterative design cycle, where napkin sketches turn into rudimentary concepts that are subjected to increasingly sophisticated analyses to refine the raw idea into a detailed design. Concepts are developed, fabricated into prototypes, and subjected to instrumented laboratory and field evaluations. Proximity to KRC's testing laboratories, equipment maintenance shops, vehicles, and dedicated test course, allows the iterative design cycle to be conducted very rapidly and effectively.
In conjunction with its test support capabilities, KRC has developed several customized laboratory fixtures and field test courses that are either one of a kind, or closely mimic certain conditions that exist at US Government Test Centers. Over the years and through the execution of several instrumented field tests, KRC has collected data and established load/design criteria necessary for the design of vehicular components and subsystems.
KRC has on-site fabrication capacity for low quantity prototypes, test hardware, samples, and devices. Our development efforts typically expand this on-site capability by regularly using local vendors to obtain access to additional fabrication equipment and skills.
We rely heavily upon creating working relationships with a network of local suppliers and with firms that possess specific manufacturing expertise such as elastomeric molding, plastic injection, steel stamping, foundry and forging, and precision or specialized machining. These suppliers are further used to provide producibility studies for prototype development efforts.
As such, KRC has an established network of fabrication vendors with substantial capability, accustomed to rapidly providing hardware. This mutual relationship with local vendors has further resulted in a substantial production capacity used often to support the needs of the US government. Specific to survivability technologies, further relationships have been developed to support the forming and machining of armor plate, access to advanced fusion, and solid state joining technologies, additive manufacturing techniques, and the inclusion of non-metallic materials.