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Application Of Engineering Fundamentals In Manufacture A Case Study

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.196.1 - 6.196.4



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Paper Authors

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G. Juri Filatovs

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Devdas Pai

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2463

Application of Engineering Fundamentals in Manufacture - A Case Study

G. Juri Filatovs & Devdas M. Pai NSF Center for Advanced Materials & Smart Structures Department of Mechanical Engineering NC A&T State University, Greensboro, NC 27411

Abstract A case study is presented that was developed during a Senior Capstone design course and based on an actual industrial problem. In a manufacturing operation, a materials handling cell did not reliably pick-up single sheets of aluminum. Due to parasitic adhesion, two sheets would be fed into the downstream machines initiating jamming or tool breakage. The system had performed satisfactorily for steel, for which the system had apparently been set-up. Initial discussion with the plant managers and engineers revealed a tolerance of the interruptions and a reluctance to attempt correctives. Analysis of the problem and further discussion revealed a lack of understanding of the basic factors, due to a lack of systematic, fundamental approach. The candidate ideas proposed by the plant personnel were, based on elementary analysis, incorrect, and would have exacerbated the problem. This case study discusses both the technical aspects and the reasons for the failure by the personnel to engage the problem. The problems and circumstances were presented to the students, who then wrote a paper on it detailing their analysis and approach to the problem. Following this, the instructor’s solution was presented and a discussion evolved. This discussion resulted in advocating for and illustrating the advantages of a fundamental approach to engineering in a manufacturing-design setting.

I. Introduction This is a case study used in the Senior Capstone design course in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at NCA&T State University. It originated from consulting work with a local industry by one of us (GJF) and was developed into a case study/project. In addition to its technical aspects, the study presented opportunities for examining and comparing the differences in approaches between students and working engineers and incorporating observations on those differences into the lessons learned.

II. Problem Overview

A metal cabinet manufacturer was experiencing intermittent problems in a materials handling cell. Bales of 4’x 8’x 0.05” aluminum sheets had their top sheet picked-up by vacuum grippers, flexed to drop any adhering second sheet, and transported to a downstream station. Figure 1 shows the configuration of the pick-up mechanism. The flexing cylinders at positions A-B-C-D pushed downward sequentially, while the sheet was raised above the bale. The line ran continuously, frequently unattended, and only stopped for major maintenance or problems.

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Filatovs, G. J., & Pai, D. (2001, June), Application Of Engineering Fundamentals In Manufacture A Case Study Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--8907

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