MIE Senior Design Showcase Highlights Brilliant and Inventive Projects
When Senior Design Showcase 2023 was held this May by the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department, three talented teams of MIE students took home the first-place awards, as evaluated by 33 expert judges. The top spot for the industrial engineers went to Team 7801, Packaging Analysis for Web Industries. First place for the semester-long mechanical engineering projects was earned by Team 1506, the Hand Robotic Gripper Group. And Team 9707, General Dynamics Drilling and Pinning, won top honors for the yearlong industrially sponsored mechanical engineering projects.
The judges scored the teams on their ability to capture the needs of their customers, convert those needs into engineering specifications, apply engineering analysis to generate multiple designs or models, realize an optimal design or model, and evaluate how well the design or model met the original customer needs.
The team for the Packaging Analysis for Web Industries project was Jhanvi Dudhat, Max Hess, Bhupesh Kanth, Ryanne Mckenna, and Madelina Montemagni.
This team aimed to optimize the packaging process of a bovine pregnancy at Web Industries by identifying areas of improvement and developing strategies to make the overall process more efficient. Their analysis identified the least-efficient parts of the process and developed improvement plans, including two alternate layouts that would save over 4,200 working hours per year and provide cost savings of between $58,000 and $96,000 annually. The team will be presenting its work in New Orleans later this month at the Institute of Industrial Engineers annual conference and expo.
The Hand Robotic Gripper Group was composed of Rachel Berry, Natalija Beslic, Johnathan Czernik, Savannah Macero, and Millan Taranto.
This team developed new end-of-arm tooling for the UMass Human Robotic Systems Laboratory dealing with research on learning by demonstration. The in-hand gripper is designed to be used with a single human hand to train the robot’s arm to perform grasping tasks with greater human-like movement. The design enables smooth back drivability and movement, ensuring the accurate demonstration of tasks. The group’s gripper boasts a minimalistic design that emphasizes robustness, cost-efficiency, and user-friendliness. It has the potential to be an accessible and powerful tool contributing to the burgeoning fields of robotics and neuroscience, among others.
Alexa Attleson, Tyler Millay, Henry Lanza, Andrew Ruggiero, and Hunter Williams made up the team for the project on General Dynamics Drilling and Pinning.
This team was tasked with improving the drilling and pinning process of large electronics cabinets. The objective was to reduce the process time by 50 percent and improve ergonomics while maintaining the current level of precision and safety. The team’s design of a horizontally mounted, quick-detaching, drill press met its goals by eliminating crane rotations, excessive tool changes, and the application of additional paint-protection layers, while also reducing cleaning pin holes. The team estimates that its solution will reduce drilling time from 27 hours to 50 minutes and allow the work center to remain profitable over a multi-year, fixed-price contract. (June 2023)