Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Senior Design Spring 2015

Chrysler 300 Split Tailgate Team posing with poster

Honorable Mention 2015 Design Expo Award Winner
Chrysler 300 Split Tailgate

Team Members

Kelly Shanahan, Joshua Yagley, Alex Bancroft, Jerad Marble, and Parry Ragland, Mechanical Engineering

Advisor

Kevin Johnson, Mechanical Engineering-
Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Project Overview

Our goal is to design, engineer, build, and test a split decklid adapted from the current Chrysler 300 architecture. This decklid system will provide the customer both the access required of typical decklids without the upswing of the lower waterfall area and the added feature of a tailgate style lower swing out panel which will provide a surface for tailgate functions. This feature is rare in the industry and provides an opportunity for segment differentiation creating a unique selling point.


Dynamometer Calibration Device Team posing with poster

Honorable Mention 2015 Design Expo Award Winner
Dynamometer Calibration Device

Team Members 

Kristopher Benaglio, Christopher DeGroot, Adam Deibler, Kenneth Smith, Mechanical Engineering

Advisor

Paul van Susante, Mechanical Engineering-
Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor

John Deere

Project Overview

This design team is working with John Deere to develop a new dynamometer torque meter calibration device. A dynamometer, commonly referred to as a dyno, is a popular test instrument used to measure variables such as torque, speed, and power output. The current calibration method used by John Deere utilizes a static weight stack attached to a moment arm. This design must be replaced because it exceeds the dynamometer test cell envelope, is difficult to transport from test cell to test cell, requires considerable time and effort for two workers to assemble and disassemble, and requires the repetitive lifting of 40 to 45 pound weights.


Heat Stress Prevention Kit Team posing with poster

Heat Stress Prevention Kit

Team Members

Jessica Buck, Sean Mackey, Sophia Rizzo, Nicholas Sill, John Schuman, Joshua Kizer, Mikhail Alexander, Mechanical Engineering

Advisors

Jaclyn Johnson, Kevin Johnson, Bill Endress, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor

Air Force Research Lab

Project Overview

To design for a wearable cooling device for soldiers in the field. The team won top prize at the Air Force Research Lab University Design  Challenge
Read More: Heat Stress Prevention Kit design won  first place in the Air Force Research Lab University Design Challenge.


Automatic Loading and Unloading Gravity Flow Rack System Team posing with poster

Automatic Loading and Unloading Gravity Flow Rack System

Team Members

Jeffrey Baker, Andrew Crepeau, Samantha Kallman, Clay Sekely, and Halley Shawbitz, Mechanical Engineering

Advisor

Paul van Susante, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Project Overview

We are tasked with the complete design and prototype of a mechanism that couples a material  rack to an assembly rack, transfers full containers of parts from the material rack to the assembly rack, and transfers empty containers from the assembly rack to the material rack.


B-pillar Revision Project Team posing with poster

B-pillar Revision Project

Team Members

David Daavettila, Nicholas Jensen, Tyler Kuyper, Paul Roehm, and Yakun Wang, Mechanical Engineering Technology

Advisor

Paul van Susante, Mechanical Engineering-
Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Project Overview

Chrysler needs to produce vehicles with topend technology and minimum mass at a higher frequency than current design methods permit. A B-pillar is a structural member connecting the rocker panel to the roof panel, located between the front and rear doors of a four-door vehicle. Our team has been asked to create a simple and accurate analysis method for comparing relative B-pillar attributes during initial vehicle design. Efficiency will be improved by using this method.


Enhanced High-G Fuze Test Rig Design Team posing with poster and rig system

Enhanced High-G Fuze Test Rig Design

Team Members

Beau Barber, Brian Haupt, Ivan Niemi, Brian Page, and David Waters, Mechanical Engineering

Advisor

Charles Van Karsen, Mechanical Engineering-
Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor

Air Force Research Labs (AFRL)

Project Overview

Bunker Busters are designed to impact and penetrate hard targets up to 60 ft thick to neutralize enemy threats. The electrical control systems that determine how the bombs fly and when they detonate are termed fuzes. With extreme impact forces needed to penetrate this type of barrier at high velocities, special testing is required to qualify the fuze system. Our team worked with AFRL to redesign and improve the fuze test rig. The team focused on improved maintainability, accuracy, and precision while including environment modification capabilities previously unavailable.


Heat Recovery Steam Generator Improvement Team posing with poster

Heat Recovery Steam Generator Improvement

Team Members

David Bayer, Jordan Jackola, Jani Lane, and Michael Pristov, Mechanical Engineering

Advisor

Jaclyn Johnson, Mechanical Engineering-
Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor

DTE Energy

Project Overview

DTE Energy is partnering with Michigan Tech to create a series of senior design teams. Each team will be researching specific aspects of the design, operation, and maintenance of combined cycle power plants. This project team is the first in a five team series and is focusing on the thermodynamic and thermoeconomic analysis of the heat recovery steam generator performance within the combined cycle. In particular, our team investigated the effects of ambient environmental conditions and load requirements on the plant efficiency and operations. The combined team efforts will be used to improve the design and operations of DTE Energy’s future power plants.


Improved Parts Transportation System Team posing with poster

Improved Parts Transportation System

Team Members

Timothy Steinmetz, Nicholas Zochowski, Zachary
Karsten, and Jun Zou, Mechanical Engineering

Advisor

Kevin Johnson, Mechanical Engineering-
Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor

MacLean-Fogg Component Solutions

Project Overview

MacLean-Fogg Component Solutions requires an improved method of transporting automotive wheel nut blanks from a vibratory feeder bowl to a tapper. The current system is operating at approximately 50 percent efficiency. The primary goal of this project is to boost efficiency to at least 80 percent. This equates to an output rate of at least 16,000 parts per shift. An increase in efficiency would allow MacLean-Fogg to reduce excess shifts involved with the after-hour and weekend production that is currently taking place to keep up with customer demands, thereby reducing costs.


Low Voltage Piezoelectric Bone Sculptor Team posing with poster

Low Voltage Piezoelectric Bone Sculptor

Team Members

James Berry, Electrical Engineering; Michael Braun, Computer Engineering; Alexandra Cereska and Janelle Rupkalvis, Biomedical Engineering;Lee Southerton and Eric Wilkening, Mechanical  Engineering

Advisor

Radheshyam Tewari, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor

Stryker Instruments

Project Overview

We have partnered with Stryker Instruments to address the market need for improved  one resection instrumentation by developing a proof of- concept prototype bone resection device, the JamJel. The JamJel operates at a sub-ultrasonic frequency and employs a piezoelectric actuator, or stack configuration to produce oscillatory motion of a cutting accessory. Piezoelectric stacks generate high force, are compact in size, and enable precise longitudinal displacement control by the user. The design incorporates three piezoelectric stacks arranged in a triangular formation around a pivot plate. Mechanical leverage amplifies the 90 μm piezoelectric stack displacement, permitting longitudinal, transverse and rotary motion at the cutting accessory tip, singly or in combination.


MacLean-Fogg Automated Parts Counting System Team posing with poster

MacLean-Fogg Automated Parts Counting System

Team Members

Galina Berestetsky, Robert Dudek, Kelsey O’Brien and Luke Roberts, Mechanical Engineering;
Andrew Harmon, Electrical Engineering

Advisor

Charles Van Karsen, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Sponsors

MacLean-Fogg, ArcelorMittal

Project Overview

Lean manufacturing initiatives have led MacLean-Fogg, a producer of fastener components, to investigate the integration of an automated parts counting system. The current weight-based counting system is only 95–97 percent accurate causing inventory discrepancies of millions of parts each year. The goal of an automated counting system is to increase accuracy to 99 percent. The design presented here separates the parts using the parts separator, pictured. As the parts fall from the conveyor onto the separator, they are divided into one of four sections. An optical sensor, mounted at the exit of each section, counts each part as it passes through. The total count is recorded using a Single Board RIO.


MacLean-Fogg Component Solutions—Mine Bit Manufacturing Process Team posing with poster

MacLean-Fogg Component Solutions—Mine Bit Manufacturing Process

Team Members

Joseph Jendrusina, Sean Kuchta, Michael Larson, and Tyler Nault, Mechanical Engineering

Advisor

William Endres, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor

MacLean-Fogg Component Solutions

Project Overview

MacLean-Fogg currently uses a batch and queue process for their mine bit manufacturing. Our team was tasked with generating a one-piece pull system to eliminate work in progress inventory, consignment at customer locations, and increase value added for the process. Our team designed a cellular machine layout incorporating a vertical conveyor and drop gate to achieve a one-piece pull system. Aspects of lean manufacturing were incorporated into the project.


Pickup Truck Bed Side-Access Design Team posing with poster

Pickup Truck Bed Side—Access Design

Team Members

Corey Downing, Ben Turner, Jeremy Mims, Stuart Montgomery,and Jordan Kubista, Mechanical Engineering

Advisor

Charles Van Karsen, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Sponsors

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, ArcelorMittal

Project Overview

The team was charged with the design and implementation of a side cargo access and human entry point on a RAM 1500 truck bed. The forward section of the truck bed has limited access for many types of cargo. A forward access system will provide improved usage of this area and allow more efficient load and unload activities. The new design allows ease of access to cargo stored inside and near the front of the truck bed. It allows ease of entry into and out of the truck bed. It meets all functional objectives of a truck bed and door systems such as durability, sag, set, closing efforts. The design accommodates typical customer accessories such as tonneau covers, bed caps, tie downs and cargo dividers.


Precision Machining Process Design Team posing with poster

Precision Machining Process Design

Team Members

Dustin Cochrane, Travis Teall, Michael Dzwigalski, and Cory Calkins, Mechanical Engineering

Advisor

William Endres, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor

MacLean-Fogg Component Solutions

Project Overview

Metform, a division of MacLean-Fogg Component Solutions, is in the business of machining gear blanks for use in 8 and 9 speed transmissions. These gear blanks are produced at a mind-boggling rate with the assistance of highly precise CNC machines. However, after multiple inspections, it was observed that the bore dimension for some of the gear blanks was extending outside of the allowable tolerance. The cause of this was determined to be a product of bore lobing, a common problem in the machining of thin-walled parts. Our task was to design improved lathe jaws that would distribute the clamping load along the entire surface of the gear blank.


Surgical Power Tool Irrigation Pump Controller Team posing with poster

Surgical Power Tool Irrigation Pump Controller

Team Members

Nathan Tromp, Robert Arden, and Karl Schlicker, Mechanical Engineering; Grant Smith, Electrical Engineering

Advisor

Eddy Trinklein, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor

Stryker Instruments

Project Overview

Our design team is sponsored by Stryker Instruments to update the irrigation system of the Consolidated Operating Room Equipment (CORE) console. The console was introduced back in 2005 and requires updating to maintain a competitive edge. The project goal is to provide an updated solution for the transport of saline in a surgical power tool console. Proposed updates to the console irrigation system include replacing the microcontroller while maintaining current flow performance, reducing electromagnetic interference (EMI) and audible noise, and providing an FEA model of the pump housing.

 


Bearing Adjuster Lock Ring Test Rig Team posing with poster

Bearing Adjuster Lock Ring Test Rig

Team Members

Stephen A. Whalen, Nicolas Lord, Christian Bersano, and Jordon Locher, Mechanical Engineering

Advisor

Kevin Johnson, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Sponsors

American Axle & Manufacturing, Michigan
Technological University

Project Overview

Bearing adjuster lock rings in a pick-up truck front axle are shearing under unknown conditions. This design team was tasked by American Axle & Manufacturing to identify the cause of lock ring failure and design and build a test rig capable of replicating this failure mode. The machine will be used to simulate loading conditions the vehicle may undergo in the field. The machine will also serve asa baseline for lock-ring design validation for future design teams.


Composite Rear Suspension—SAE BajaTeam posing with poster

Composite Rear Suspension—SAE Baja

Team Members

Richard Stevens, Alexander Miltenberger, and Patrick Holzer, Mechanical Engineering; Matthew Brettschneider, Mechanical Engineering Technology

Advisor

Kevin Johnson, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor

Michigan Tech Blizzard Baja Team

Project Overview

Our goal is to design and manufacture a rear suspension system from composite materials to provide increased performance to the Michigan Technological University SAE Baja competition vehicle. This system includes a designed trailing arm suspension, rear bearing carrier, shock adapter, and mounting hardware to adapt the rearsuspension system to the chassis.


Composite Rear Suspension—SAE Baja

Team Members

Richard Stevens, Alexander Miltenberger, and Patrick Holzer, Mechanical Engineering; Matthew Brettschneider, Mechanical Engineering Technology

Advisor

Kevin Johnson, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor

Michigan Tech Blizzard Baja Team

Project Overview

Our goal is to design and manufacture a rear suspension system from composite materials to provide increased performance to the Michigan Technological University SAE Baja competition vehicle. This system includes a designed trailing arm suspension, rear bearing carrier, shock adapter, and mounting hardware to adapt the rearsuspension system to the chassis.


Universal Parts Feeder for Nut Tapping Equipment Team posing with poster

Universal Parts Feeder for Nut Tapping Equipment

Team Members

Izaak Lauer, Colton Wesoloski, Gaosihao Qiu, Jake Bohl, and Michael Kita, Mechanical Engineering

Advisor

Radheshyam Tewari, Mechanical Engineering-
Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor

MacLean-Fogg

Project Overview

The purpose of our project is to provide a method of orienting and feeding blanked nuts to a tapping rig to replace the current vibratory bowl feeder, which is costly, loud, and time-consuming to modify and adjust to different sized/shaped nuts, resulting in long down times. The design must be capable of feeding the oriented components at a rate comparable to the current process, and be adjustable to accommodate the different
components that can be produced by the forming machinery.


Drive Motoor in Dowel Agitation Design Bissell Team

Drive Motor in Dowel Agitation Design Bissell

Team Members

Molli Andor, Aaron Dupre, Erik Lemmen, and Teng Ma, Mechanical Engineering; Kyle Stankowski, Electrical Engineering

Advisor

Eddy Trinklein, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor

Bissell Homecare

Project Overview

Recent vacuum industry trends have leaned toward smaller, lightweight, and more agile product architectures. The ability to innovate and retain efficacy while reducing product size is important. The design goal was to develop an integrated brush dowel and drive motor assembly to reduce product weight, improve quality, and give the end consumer an innovative cleaning solution. Most brush dowel systems are driven by a belt from an external motor, either dedicated to the brush or driven from a shaft exiting the vacuum motor. This particular brush dowel system is driven directly by an internal motor.


John Deere Intake Manifold Design

Team Members

Rebekah Koning, Nicholas Latusek, Jonathon Maley, and Ethan Rautio. Mechanical Engineering

Advisor

Jaclyn Johnson, Mechanical Engineering- Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor

John Deere

Project Overview

Our team was tasked with designing an intake manifold for a John Deere 3 cylinder engine. The intake manifold was designed for uniform flow among cylinders and supports all required sensors, actuators, and positive crankcase ventilation valves. Due to high under-hood temperatures and durability concerns for off-highway applications, a cast iron or cast aluminum manifold material was desired. Aluminum was determined to be the best cast metal due to its structural integrity and casting soundness.