Tag Archives: senior design

Optimization in Senior Design

Melinda Nelson

Melinda Nelson,
Senior, Industrial and Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 8 April 2016

The biggest project of many senior engineering students is Senior Capstone. This is a course where all your knowledge and experience are tried out in a real world scenario. Each group has an industry client and is assigned the project the client chooses. I knew that this could be a challenge and a great learning experience for life after college. It has definitely met both of those expectations!

The team I am on was assigned a project with Exel/DHL. They run warehouses for customers in various consumer industries. Our task was to create a model that could be used to evaluate existing and new, custom box sizes for packaging their customers’ products.

We created a model to take into account the size of products, boxes and costs involved in using different variations of box sizes. The model consisted of multiple equations that describe the different aspects of the situation we were studying. We set it up to choose optimal box sets based on making the void (empty space) when packing products as small as possible.

This project incorporated so many skills that I had been building throughout my time in college! Not only were skills in software and coursework utilized but also soft skills like presenting ideas and logistics and time management skills for working on the project while continuing to take a full load of courses! It also challenged and helped me to build on my leadership and motivational skills when working in a group. It was definitely a challenge working with conflicting schedules, deadlines, client demands and having to learn on the job.

Our project was to search for optimal box sets but the biggest takeaway for me was learning to create optimal team work and time management when working. These are huge takeaways that can be used in everyday life for years to come! Even though it had its stressful times, overall Senior Capstone was a great learning experience I truly enjoyed.

Senior Design Demo Day

Katie Logue

Katie Logue,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 4 April 2016

With graduation just around the corner, I really can’t believe how quickly my senior year has gone by. There are so many things left to do, but I know the next four weeks will be over in the blink of an eye.

This past weekend, my senior design class presented our final projects to other students, faculty, mentors, parents, and members of the community. We call it Demo Day, and it’s the culmination of all the hard work, blood, sweat, and tears we’ve put into our projects over the past two semesters.

I may be a little biased, but I think our team’s demonstration and presentation went perfectly. Our booth was a big hit with the attendees. Our project was to create a custom tricycle for a five-year-old girl named Fiona, who has agenesis of the corpus callosum. This condition affects the ability of the two hemispheres of her brain to communicate with each other. Due to this condition, Fiona needs physical therapy to improve her strength, coordination, and motor skills. The tricycle we created for her can be used independently for therapy, and it can also be attached to her mother’s bike so that the entire family can ride together on the bike path.

ALT

Our Demo Day booth, with our actual project setup, tri-fold board displaying our needs statement and project pictures, and laptops with a slideshow of photos, and before and after videos of Fiona riding her old trike and her new trike.

We were so grateful that Fiona and her family could join us on Demo Day. Fiona is such an adorable, happy little girl, and she absolutely loves her new trike. She kept asking members of our group to take her for a ride around the building.

After about half an hour of pulling Fiona around, we proceeded to the auditorium to present our project. I was fortunate to have the responsibility of presenting for our team. When I flipped to a slide with a picture of Fiona’s trike, she got so excited, pointing and laughing. I had to pause my presentation to let the laughter of the audience die down.

Then, I asked her father to say a few words about what the project means to their family, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. This project has been so rewarding, and Saturday was the perfect way to wrap it all up. It was incredibly cool to be able to share this experience with so many people.

Senior Design group

Group photo of our team on Demo Day with Fiona, her brother Griffin, and parents Megan and Lenny.

Now that Demo Day is over, it’s like we’re finally able to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s unbelievably bittersweet. As excited as I am for the past four years of school and one year of co-op work to pay off, I know I’ll miss this school very much.

Athens will always be home to me, and I wouldn’t trade being a bobcat for the world. Every late night studying for finals, every frustrating assignment I had to do, and every paper I had to bribe myself with coffee to finish was worth it. I feel like I’ve made the most of my time here, but part of me wishes I had more time.

I think as I look back, I’m realizing that it’s the people I’ve met here that mean the most. I’ve met some of my very best friends over the past five years, and I’m so grateful I was given the opportunity to be a part of the Russ College community.

ISE Senior Design: Simulation

Esteban Rodriguez

Esteban Rodriguez,
Senior, Industrial and Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 20 March 2016

As an industrial and systems engineering student, I have to partake in a senior design project. Towards the end of last semester, we got assigned to a project based on our group preference. My team of four was assigned to do a project for DHL/Exel, to simulate the operations of one of their warehouses.

DHL/Excel operates the warehouse and want us to calculate the capacity of the warehouse during its peak season. Since the facility stores toys, the peak season for the demand of this toys is the month before Christmas, and 40 percent of the sales occur during this month.

Our group decided to build a simulation model of their picking and packing processes. These two processes are the ones that require the most labor and account for most of the processing time.

For building the model, we are using a software that we learned in our simulation class, and in addition to this we have our advisor who is the “master” in simulation.

The project has been challenging since we’ve had to deal with managing the time of all of our team members, as well as the difficulty of the project itself. I am very excited to see the outcome of this project and really hope that our project improves the company’s operations!

ETM Capstone Design Production Project

Steve Toth

Steve Toth,
Senior, Engineering Technology and Management

Athens, OH 20 March 2016

One special thing about the Russ College is that every major completes its own capstone course. For Engineering Technology and Management majors, that means designing and completing a production run like what would be found in a factory.

If you are not familiar with Engineering Technology and Management (ETM) we focus on everything in the manufacturing process from product design, process design, process improvement, process management, quality control all the way to technical sales. Our capstone course incorporates all of these into one intense semester.

We start out by designing a product. For my group this is a door side organizer which incorporates a shelf, a cubby, key hooks and a cast aluminum badge which I’ve mentioned in a previous blog post.

Organizer

After the product has been designed and then proven by a model build, the rest of the semester focuses on bringing it into production through the creation of tooling and the multiple control plans that dictate a process (quality, inventory, capacity, routing sheets, etc.).

At the end of the semester, all of these components are put into action in a production run with 15 finished products being produced in a five-hour period…followed by a three-day nap.

ETM Senior Design

Chris Delwiche

Chris Delwiche,
Senior, Engineering Technology and Management

Athens, OH 12 March 2016

Senior year means senior design! During your final year in the Russ College you will participate in a capstone senior design project. The objective of this class is to use all of the experience you’ve gained throughout your curriculum to solve a problem or complete a project.

In ETM our objective is to come up with a product, propose the idea to the class and professor, and move on from there. We go through the original design phase, prototyping as a proof of concept, and a final production run. Regardless of the product you choose to produce the goal of the class is to emulate a manufacturing environment, where a part or product can be reproduced over and over again with little to no variation.

We track and control this variation through the use of quality standards and quality charts, ensure reproducibility through tooling such as jigs and fixtures, and train operators through tooling instructions and process sheets.

My group decided to create a collapsible dice tower.

Dice Tower

The tower is held together using high strength neodymium magnets.

Dice Tower

When the tower is disassembled it will fold neatly back into the catch box where the dice fall.

Dice Tower

With our production run approaching rapidly I am very happy with how our project has gone so far and how our team has really worked together to get where we are now!

ME Senior Design: Adaptive Tricycle

Katie Logue

Katie Logue,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 28 February 2016

Since Spring Break is beginning this week, a lot of students are getting the opportunity to relax, go on vacation, and maybe even start to see the light at the end of the tunnel for this semester. However, for the senior mechanical engineering class, it’s crunch time.

All year long, we put our blood, sweat, and tears into our senior design projects, and it’s finally time that all our planning and designing pays off, and we get to actually make something. I feel extremely lucky with the project I’ve had the privilege of working on this year. My team is working with a local family and a physical therapist who works for the university in order to create an adaptive tricycle for an incredibly sweet five-year-old girl named Fiona.

Fiona has agenesis of the corpus callosum, which prevents the two hemispheres of her brain from properly communicating with each other. This causes her to have difficulty developing muscle strength and coordination. Fiona has recently begun riding a tricycle for therapy, but there are many features on her existing trike that needed improved, and that’s where we stepped in.

We decided to purchase an existing bicycle that properly fits Fiona and convert it to a tricycle by attaching a two-wheeled rear axle. We’re also modifying several other parts to make the device more adaptable to Fiona’s specific needs. We plan to create custom shaped handlebars, add a more comfortable seat, include interchangeable backrests, and design pedals that will help keep her feet in place as she rides.

Another cool but super-challenging aspect of our design is that the trike can be towed behind an adult bicycle, so that Fiona can use it not just for therapy, but for a recreational activity with her family as well. Below is a 3D CAD model our team has created to demonstrate our design.

Adaptive Tricycle Design

I think our senior design course is especially exciting because the projects we complete as a class aren’t theoretical. They’re very real projects for very real people, and it’s so rewarding to be able to use your engineering education to positively influence someone’s life in such a huge way. We’ll be continuing construction over Spring Break, and hopefully we will be able to deliver the final product to Fiona and her parents within the next few weeks.

Aluminum Castings

Steve Toth

Steve Toth,
Senior, Engineering Technology and Management

Athens, OH 4 November 2015

Ever since I took Metal Fabrication and Casting (ETM 2180) my sophomore year, I have been interested in castings. In the class, we were simply learning about the process. Now in my senior year, I’m delving deeper into the process.

One of the projects I have recently been working on is developing a casted aluminum OHIO badge using the sand casting process. My hopes behind this is to use the castings in my senior production run (capstone).

Casting

One thing that makes my development process different from traditional methods is that I have been developing and testing 3D printed patterns and runners which are traditionally machined or carved out. I started out with designing the badge using SolidWorks (a 3D drafting software). The part was then converted into a .STL file which could be read by the 3D printers owned by the ETM department.

Casting

Once the parts were printed, they were glued to the pattern board where sand could be packed around them. After the board is removed, a cavity is left for the molten aluminum to fill. As you can see, my first couple of patterns did not allow the sand to take.

Casting

After some massaging in the interior edges (larger fillets), larger draft angles and additional post print finishing I was able to create a workable pattern that was casted as seen in the picture at the top.

Now after creating a successful prototype and proving the concept, I have developed a (hopefully) ideal casting pattern that can be used in my capstone project next semester.