Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Senior Design Projects Spring 2018

Power Seat Efficiency Improvement

Team Members
Elaine Cook, Reid Deckebach, Nalen Nadarajah, Joseph Reiter, and Yifei Wu, Mechanical Engineering

Advisor
William Endres, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor
Adient

Project Overview
The team is developing a next-generation power horizontal adjust system for Adient, a tier-one automotive supplier located in Plymouth, Michigan. The main task is to increase efficiency of the system. The current system has an operating efficiency of 11 percent. Adient desires to improve this to 20 percent. The most efficient system on the market has an efficiency of 18 percent. With the completion of this project, our goal is for Adient to have the most efficient system on the market.


Bobcat Object Detection and Classification

Team Members
Drake Lindberg, Alex Hanson, Josh Sell, and Cody Goodreau, Mechanical Engineering; Paul Baldwin, Electrical Engineering

Advisor
Aneet Narendranath, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor
Bobcat

Project Overview
Our team has been engaged to design a system that can detect, classify, and alert operators of various hazards and foreign objects surrounding compact construction equipment for Bobcat. Current skid steer vehicle designs have limited visibility throughout a variety of maneuvers while operating. This system seeks to reduce costly damage and increase safety in the workplace.


Space Debris Mitigation—Drone Team

Team Members
Cooper Pedersen, Marcus Shamberg, Cy DeLeeuw, and Zack Papciak, Mechanical Engineering

Advisor
Eddy Trinklein, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor
Air Force Research Laboratory

Project Overview
Three sub-teams from our department are working together to represent Michigan Tech in the 2018 Air Force Research Labs (AFRL) Competition. Our team has been working alongside the two other AFRL teams to create a space debris mitigation device. The AFRL Competition requires teams to deploy a device that acquires and attaches to a moving piece of simulated space debris.


Jeep—Next Generation Vehicle Entry/Exit Technology

Team Members
Kayla Buczkowski, Carl Pietila, Dylan Steman, and McKenna Wagner, Mechanical Engineering; Robert Tracy and Ryan Usimaki, Electrical Engineering

Advisor
Fei Long, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor
FCA USA LLC

Project Overview
The first thing a person touches when entering a vehicle is the door handle. We have been tasked by FCA to design and prototype a new and innovative ingress/egress method for Jeep that will instill a feeling of quality and robustness to the customer. Throughout the design process we must translate customer voices into engineering metrics, creating a design that will appeal to both current and future Jeep customers. It is our hope that this new and innovative design will give Jeep an edge in the luxury SUV market.


Motorcycle Landing Gear

Honorable Mention Design Expo Senior Design Award

Team Members
Philip Zambon, Jake Len, Jordan Powers, and Chris Lake, Mechanical Engineering; James Dykstra, Computer Engineering; Chad Ross, Electrical Engineering

Advisor
William Endres, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor
Mark Zambon

Project Overview
Our team was tasked with the design and prototyping of an on-road motorcycle “landing gear” system. The motorcycle is our customer’s 2007 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R. The customer, SSGT Mark Zambon, is a bilateral above-the-knee amputee whose injuries prevent him from operating a conventional motorcycle. Currently, there are no other engineered systems available in the country to address this need. We are also adapting the footrests and controls to further accommodate his injuries. Our product will not only benefit our customer, it could potentially spark aftermarket opportunities to get other disabled riders back on a motorcycle.


Space Debris Mitigation: Attachment Team

Team Members
Emily Vigil, Paul Bosko, Stephan Ballance, and Cameron Potter, Mechanical Engineering

Advisor
William Endres, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor
Air Force Research Laboratory

Project Overview
Non-functioning rocket bodies in low-earth orbits have the potential to collide with functioning satellites, potentially causing damage. The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has tasked our team with designing and building a prototype of a device that will be launched from a host satellite, travel to the piece of debris, attach to the debris, and then deploy a drag device that will cause the debris to de-orbit. Our team is one of three working on this project; we are focusing on the attachment method of our payload to the debris.


Prevailing Torque Nut Performance Improvement

Team Members
Daniel Freed, Carl Kangas, Steven Peltier, Austin Hower, and Nils Miron, Mechanical Engineering

Advisor
William Endres, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor
MacLean-Fogg Component Solutions-Metform

Project Overview
MacLean-Fogg is currently producing deflected lock nuts that are exhibiting a large variation in on/off torques at final audit. These nuts are used on car axle spindles, which hold the wheel hub onto the axle shaft. If the prevailing torque required to turn these lock nuts off the shaft is too low, the wheel may come off during operation. Our goal is to reduce the variation in the prevailing torque to allow for greater consistency from part-to-part, reducing the risk that a part is produced out of specification.


Space Debris Mitigation

Team Members
Nicholas Fisher, Computer Engineering
Zakarie Parker and Kyle Wellman, Mechanical Engineering

Advisor
Charles Van Karsen, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor
Air Force Research Laboratory

Project Overview
We are tasked by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) to design a payload for a satellite that has the potential to attach to debris floating in space and deploy a device that will increase the drag of that debris. With the increase in drag, this debris will deorbit and burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere. We competed against numerous other colleges to determine the best design. We are a team of 11 students split into three sub teams: an attachment device team, a drone team and a software team.


Anti-Dust Plume Vacuum Cleaner System

Team Members
Mark Daavettila, Alec Holm, Josh Rzeppa, Devin Brienen, and Brenden Lefebvre, Mechanical Engineering; Patrick Morath, Electrical Engineering

Advisor
Aneet Narendranath, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor
Bissell Homecare, Inc.

Project Overview
Bissell Homecare Inc. has tasked us with the goal of eliminating the dust plume associated with the emptying of the canisters in bagless vacuum cleaners in a consumer-perceivable manner. Our team is also seeking to quantify the dust plume in order to determine how the plume is actually behaving. This year our team formulated most of our own testing procedures, gathered data, ran our own tests, and constructed our own hardware. We have assigned a 40-percent reduction in plume volume to the “consumer-perceivable manner” reduction of the plume.


Particle Sensing Vacuum

Team Members
Marlena Daniels, Sarah Smaby, and Julia Smit, Mechanical Engineering; Travis McGinley, Electrical Engineering Technology

Advisor
Aneet Narendranath, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor
Bissell Homecare Inc.

Project Overview
Bissell Homecare is looking to improve their fundamental knowledge regarding vacuum performance over time during a standard use cycle. There is currently no system in place to look at the behavior of debris while the vacuum is running. Our team is creating and testing a sensor system that can be used to characterize debris entering and exiting a vacuum. The prototype sensor system will be implemented into a vacuum and provide customers with an interface to give them a broader understanding of vacuum performance.


Electronic Agricultural Trailer Braking System

Team Members
Jacob Pardy, Benjamin Maat, Nick Monette, Nathan Goering, and Jesse Lassila, Mechanical Engineering, and Carter Davis, Electrical Engineering

Advisor
Jaclyn Johnson, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor
Richard Job

Project Overview
Trailer brakes with anti-lock functionality in large agricultural implements are useful in preventing jackknifing. Current trailer brake designs utilize hydraulic and pneumatic components, both of which suffer from diminished performance in sub-freezing temperatures. Since many farmers in northern climates must pull trailers in the winter, safety issues can result. To address this, the team has designed and built an electronically controlled, electronically actuated, mechanically applied disk braking system for agricultural trailers with anti-lock braking system (ABS) capability. This electro-mechanical system will function at full braking capacity in temperatures as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit.


Refrigerator Door Seal Bumper

Team Members
Daniel Lacroix, Amelia Schweikart, Johnny Williams, Derek Severson, and Lily Williams, Mechanical Engineering

Advisor
Fei Long, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor
Whirlpool Corporation

Project Overview
Our team has been tasked by Whirlpool Corporation to improve the fatigue life of the door seal on a new refrigerator model. The seal is not reaching the required lifespan and continues to fail in the corner where the seal is welded together. We have designed and prototyped a bumper to be installed at the top of the door in order to relieve the impact on the seal itself. The bumper will decrease the amount of stress that is currently being put on the seal, increasing its fatigue life.


Weld Fixture Sensing Improvement

Team Members
Hannah Daavettila, Luke Kearby, Daniel Killick, Zachary Scholzen, and Joshua Smies, Mechanical Engineering

Advisor
Kevin Johnson, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor
Shape Corporation

Project Overview
Our team is working on developing methodology for detecting the correct part location while avoiding damages due to the welding process. Currently, fixed proximity sensors provide part detection on the parts fixture. Our solution will involve using remote sensing from an over-head array. This array will not enter into the welding environment, but will provide the same or better part-detection qualities. The sensing methodology must also be capable of correctly determining if the clamps and slide locating pins are in the correct location.


Hood Leveler Assembly

Team Members
Jaci Mielke, Cory Williams, Lillian Johnson, Amanda Travis, and Alex Gorcyca, Mechanical Engineering

Advisor
Aneet Narendranath, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor
MacLean-Fogg Component Solutions Engineered Plastics Company

Project Overview
Maclean-Fogg sought a new assembly process for their Pedestrian-Protection Plastic Hood Leveler, a new product that replaces the former metal-and-plastic product. The sponsor needs an assembly process that can be scaled up to accommodate the increase in production volume from 70,000 (current) to 3,000,000 (future) parts per year. We created a new assembly method that can be scaled up to become fully automatic. Our method includes the optimal process inputs in order to output the correct assembly without compromising product quality.


Carbon Nanotube Active Noise Control Muffler Element

Team Members
Samuel Brayman, Andrew Hartz, Ian Kramer, Keith Lemley, George Mietelka, and Ethan To, Mechanical Engineering

Advisor
William Endres, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor
Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Project Overview
Our team, in conjunction with Michigan Tech Mechanical Engineering Assistant Professor Andrew Barnard, has utilized carbon nanotubes (CNT) to design and create a new technology in active noise control (ANC) for automobile exhausts. The ANC device uses carbon nanotube thermophones to create a temperature fluctuation that results in the formation of sound waves. These waves can be used to amplify or suppress exhaust noise via constructive or destructive interference. This CNT ANC Muffler has been developed to be lighter, smaller, and to create less flow resistance than conventional ANC Mufflers currently on the market.


Automated Casting Defect Detection

Team Members
Michael M. Mashevsky, Ryan M. Larson, Christopher G. Young, Austin J. Gongos, and Ethan P. Brown, Mechanical Engineering and Mozzam Afroz, Electrical Engineering

Advisor
Aneet Narendranath, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor
Winsert Inc.

Project Overview
Winsert Inc. requested that our team spend the year working on designing, modeling and prototyping an automatic part sorter. This machine will be able to take a bulk load of a metal alloy raw castings and sort them based on known defects. At present, the parts are sorted by hand to search for flashing on the gate area, too much break-off on the gate area, and the lack of a through hole on some parts. Our team's primary focus for prototyping is on a flexible feed robotic pick-and place system that will feed the castings to a second machine for inspection.


Keel Cooler Efficiency Improvement

Third Place Design Expo Senior Design Award

Team Members
Neil Olson, Harrison Cannon, Daanish Tyrewala, Shveta Dhamankar, and Colin Neumanl, Mechanical Engineering

Advisor
Jaclyn Johnson, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor
R. W. Fernstrum

Project Overview
In order to meet the demands of increasingly strict emissions standards and a subsequent increase in engine operating temperatures, R. W. Fernstrum has tasked our team with increasing the efficiency of its marine keel cooler units. The team constructed several analytical and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models, and investigated a cross-flow arrangement, comparing it against the current parallel flow arrangement used by R. W. Fernstrum.


Improved Wire Welding Process

Team Members
Alex Hartmanis, Justin Heil, Eli Anderson, and Andrew Berg, Mechanical Engineering

Advisor
Kevin Johnson, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor
MacLean-Fogg Component Solutions

Project Overview
The industry standard to remove a protrusion formed through the welding of consecutive wires in cold forming manufacturing is by the use of a hand-held electric grinder. This process results in extremely hot shavings to be propelled around the facility posing a risk of injury to line operators and fires within the facility. Our mission is to develop, not only a safer alternative, but also one that is more time and cost efficient than the current process.


Nexteer DCCV Housing Process Improvement

Team Members
Kevin Tillman, Joe Smies, Jose Montano, Daniel DeVries, and Logan Hunter, Mechanical Engineering

Advisor
Kevin Johnson, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor
Nexteer Automotive

Project Overview
A DCCV housing used by Nexteer in one of their intermediate shaft assemblies is exhibiting an out-of-round condition on two holes machined into the finished part. At the request of Nexteer the team verified the root cause of the problem through finite element modeling before beginning work on a solution. Our end goal is to eliminate the out-of-round condition in the finished housing.


Vibration-Induced Muffler Failure Problem

Second Place Design Expo Senior Design Award

Team Members
Carl Jolma, Scott Pederson, Stuart Crewdson, Cam Dulong, Jared Richards, and Chet Halonen, Mechanical Engineering

Advisor
Charles Van Karsen, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor
Ardisam

Project Overview
Our team has been engaged to solve a vibration-induced fatigue issue for Ardisam. The problem Ardisam is facing is that failures are being experienced in the muffler mount area on their Tazz K32 Chipper Shredder during normal operation. The mounting bracketry is fracturing due to vibration-induced fatigue. Ardisam asked our team to determine the source of the vibration, and come up with the design and prototype for an in-factory solution.