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Manufacturing Engineering


SWARF Build-Up & Keyway Detection

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Sponsor: Hunt & Hunt, Ltd

Student Team: Bradley Glaser, Robert Isenhour, Ricardo Arana, Chris Baca

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Austin Talley

Hunt & Hunt, Ltd is a machine shop based in Houston, Texas, which specializes in precision metal parts used in the oilfield industry. This machine shop differentiates itself by integrating robots into many of their processes, thereby freeing up skilled workers for tasks other than the mounting of workpieces into CNC machines.

For our main project we are tasked with solving this issue of swarf (a.k.a. metal chips) backing up into the conveyor of CNC machines which halts operations. The goal is to be able to run these machines overnight without any human interaction.

For the Keyway Detection project, our team, is working concurrently with an EE team to design, build, and test an automated detection machine that will allow for the identification of the keyway along the threads.


LBT Fuel Rigging Cart

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Sponsor: Caterpillar Inc.

Student Team: Eric Leake, Katherine Graviss, Duy Mai

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Austin Talley

Caterpillar Inc., located in Seguin, Texas, uses fuel line rigging carts to transport the lines from the beginning through the end of the Long Block Test (LBT) areas. Currently the excess fuel lines are being stored in bins on a storage rack. Our team is working to redesign their cart in order to safely collect, store dripping fuel, and carry a larger quantity of fuel rigging lines. The new cart is designed to hold all the fuel lines, using a three cart system. This system will eliminate the bins that are collecting fuel on the bottom, incorporate ease of use with the operators using FIFO, and minimize fuel spills.


Ergonomic Oil Pan Lift Design

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Sponsor: Caterpillar Inc.

Student Team: Hunter Henk, Andrew Bland, Roger Hernandez

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Austin Talley

The goal of the project is to design an ergonomic lift system for a series of oil pans used for Caterpillar Inc.’s C-15 engines. Industry standards limit the maximum weight a single worker can lift without assistance. The lift system should be able to lift the oil pans off of a pallet and onto a cart for transportation to the assembly line without damage. The oil pans come shipped to the plant stacked in an alternating pattern, so some oil pans must be rotated 180 degrees before being placed onto the transportation cart. Caterpillar Inc. has a lift system in place, but the current system does not allow for easy rotation of the oil pans.


Flexible Labeling System

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Sponsor: Continental Automotive Systems

Student Team: Cory Keister, Danielle Whaley, Joseph Muir

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Austin Talley

Continental Automotive Systems is an automotive group that develops intelligent technology for transporting people and their goods. This plant is located in Seguin, TX and specializes in manufacturing engine controllers for a wide variety of manufacturer’s vehicles in the commercial automotive field. Our team is challenged to design, build, and test a flexible labeling system that is capable of labeling all current PCB housings for the GM automotive lineup. Our team proposes an adjustable slot jig that uses linear bearing tracks, guidance plates, and locking pins to align each housing under the label head for accurate label placement.


The Assistive Wheelbarrow

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Sponsor: Milton Vaverek, Majineering Product Design

Student Team: Sam Stone, Jake Lund, Lee-Anne Duval

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Austin Talley

Majineering has revolutionized the standard wheelbarrow to increase efficiency for the average customer to large industries.  Our team has redesigned their wheelbarrow prototype using suitable materials that still remain strong enough to support substantial loads. We have created alternatives for height adjustment and an inexpensive option to construct the legs and brackets to meet the required specifications. These modifications will ultimately be used to create a mass manufactured, light duty kit which is projected to ‘fit’ 90% of existing wheelbarrows.


Olfactory Delivery System

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Sponsor: NASA

Student Team: James Cerda, Kelsey Mehlhorn, Daniel Slaughter

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Austin Talley

For this project, we have designed and prototyped an olfactory delivery system to promote the mental wellness of astronauts during long duration missions. These long missions present concerns for psychological effects, so our objective is to help jog the memories, and create feelings of nostalgia through the use of pleasant aromas. This system will dispense a total of six unique scents at various combinations and intensities. Also, the system will be easily programmable and be able to store profiles of user preferences.