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Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering - 2020 Senior Design Abstracts

  • 401: FlexSense Motion Sensing Glove
  • 402: Integrated Additive Manufacturing of Fiber Optics
  • 403: Dimensioning Process for 3D Printing
  • 404: Hurricane Debris Removal
  • 405: Sepsis Protocol Improvement
  • 406: Maritime Schedule Improvement
  • 407: Tooling Kitting Process
  • 408: Composite Inspection Protocol
  • 409: Right-Of-Way Mowing Operations
  • 410: Pressure Data Mapping for Prosthetics
  • 411: Robotics in Manufacturing

Team 408 | Composite Inspection Protocol

In the mid-20th century, aircraft manufacturing companies such as Pratt & Whitney began implementing composite materials into their designs. Since that time composite pieces have become an integral part of airplanes because of their superior mechanical properties and relatively light weights. 

A composite is a material that consists of two or more materials with different physical properties. When combined together, the joint piece has better physical characteristics than the individual parts. In fact, there are multiple aircraft today which consist of over 50% composite material—which has dramatically increased plane fuel efficiency. 

One issue with composite pieces though, is their ability to lose structural integrity while keeping the same appearance on the surface. Currently there is no process used to detect defects that is defined and accepted across the industry, which is the motivation behind this project. 

We designed a validation protocol to inspect composite pieces and improve customer safety and business efficiency. In order to validate that a given composite piece does not contain defects, we use Non-Destructive Evaluation (NDE). NDE is the process of inspecting, testing or evaluating materials, components or assemblies for discontinuities in characteristics without destroying the serviceability of the part.

For this project, our team is using an ultrasonic C-Scan machine. This machine emits ultrasonic waves throughout a material and gathers feedback which allows for detection of defects beneath the surface of the piece. The benefits of the C-Scan are dimensional accuracy, detailed resulting images, and its accessibility at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering. At the conclusion of this project, our team provides a case study on the characteristics and process steps involved with testing composite materials for defects using a C-Scan machine.

Team (L to R):
Jazmine Houston (IME),Kevin Stevens (IME),Cole Mitchem (IME) & Benjamin Farber (IME)
Zhiyong Liang, Ph.D., Dele Awofala, Ph.D. & Kalia Kothandapany
Pratt & Whitney-UTC
Team 401 | FlexSense Motion Sensing Glove

Every year in the United States, surgeons complete more than 700,000 robotic surgeries and earn more than $3 billion. According to surgeons, the robotic device used to perform these surgeries is large and causes back, arm and hand pain after a long surgery. Also, some doctors struggle to use robot controllers. To avoid these problems, our team provides a smart glove to improve the ease of use of these controllers. The FlexSense Motion Sensing Glove is capable of tracking hand and finger movements in real time.

The glove uses sensors made of Buckypaper, a thin sheet of paper that contains very small carbon tubes. This material is very sensitive, ideal for tracking hand and finger movements. Our project’s main goal is to showcase the potential of Buckypaper. 

We study the motions of the hand to create the best sensor layouts and follow a step-by-step procedure to assemble the glove in the fastest way possible. We test our sensors using techniques and machines often used in engineering, like tensile testing.

To create the best glove design, our team is running a market study with surgeons about the use of the controllers. Surgeons’ opinions help us select the best base material and design a glove that is easy and intuitive to use. Our goal is to demonstrate that FlexSense improves the comfort and health of surgeons. We combine our different engineering backgrounds to make this glove possible. Ultimately, we want to demonstrate that this new technology is possible and useful for other motion sensing tools beyond the FlexSense glove.

Team (L to R):
Robert Hays (ME), Shams Dhanani (ME), Ruben Cortes (CpE), Peter Andrew Cancio (ECE),Gabriela Gomez Pieraldi (IME) & Ana De Leon (IME)
Joshua DeGraff, Ph.D. & Zhiyong Liang, Ph.D.
High-Performance Materials Institute
Team 402 | Integrated Additive Manufacturing of Fiber Optics

Telecommunication technologies are always changing in terms of data rates and delivery methods. One of these technologies is fiber optics. These cables offer faster delivery rates, better performance over long distances and reduced weight. NASA adopted this technology and seeks to improve the way that it is made.

The common fiber optic goes through a long and expensive production process, involving chemicals and automation. The answer to replacing this method is 3D printing. 3D printing allows fibers to be printed anywhere in the world (or space) and reduces the overall production cost. Current fiber optics use delicate, pure glass strands wrapped in different coatings, where light travels between the two ends of the fiber to deliver information. Clear 3D printed plastics are an inexpensive substitute for these delicate glass strands. 

This project uses different types of plastics to try to reproduce the same results with a 3D printed cable, when compared to an industry standard cable. Once completed, NASA can cut down on production and delivery cost while advancing current technologies.

Our goal is to create a 3D printed optical fiber that can deliver data over a short distance without major data loss when compared to current cables.

Team (L to R):
Royce Pokela (ME),Renato Tradardi (ME), Noah Steighner (ECE),Carlos Cuevas (ECE) & Maria Camila Arias (IME)
Tarik Dickens, Ph.D. & Ian K. Small
NASA Marshall Space Flight Center
Team 403 | Dimensioning Process for 3D Printing

In the manufacturing industry there is a trend towards new and alternative methods to create parts. This trend focuses on the need for companies to increase production while lowering cost. 3D printers allow for creating of parts which would normally have needed expensive manufacturing methods. Our team seeks to develop the process for which 3D printers can be used on a manufacturing line. 

This project consists of three major milestones: Collect and analyze data on the dimensions of 3D printed parts; develop a system for which 3D printed parts can be created and then measure to verify their dimensions; and implement the developed system in a laboratory environment.

The main objective of the project is to reduce variability of 3D prints by using robotics and geometric dimensioning and tolerancing techniques. This can be done with a probe which checks the part for dimensions and then compares it to desired dimensions to see the difference. We designed a process which involves the use of several robots. A few of these robots are 3D printers, while the other is a pick and place robot. This pick and place robot holds the probe which checks for part dimensions and variance once the part has been 3D printed. 

To date, we have designed an enclosure and required components to house the mentioned robots and parts. The process development meets the main objective or purpose of the project by utilizing the robots and probe. Future work includes refining this process and incorporating it into a manufacturing environment.

Team (L to R):
Matthew Emerick (ME), Dillon Mathena, ME), Samantha Bell (IME), Leonardo Tellez (IME), Carlie Cunningham (IME) & Kelan Green (IME)
Tarik Dickens, Ph.D., Stan Zoubek & Jennifer Tecson
Northrop Grumman Corporation
Team 404 | Hurricane Debris Removal

The tree canopy of Tallahassee is a treasure to the community. There is about a 55 percent tree coverage in the city, one of the highest percentages in the nation. When tropical storms and hurricanes hit, they cause large amount of debris. A majority of this debris is vegetative because of the immense tree canopy. 

After these storms, the City of Tallahassee Waste Management and Community Beautification departments are in charge of removing the debris from the community. There are two phases to this process. First is the response phase, when the Community Beautification Department clears the roads of debris and cuts large objects into pieces to ease the  disposal process. Second is the recovery phase, when the Waste Management Department removes the debris from the community and transports it to a disposal site. Our team is working with the Waste Management Department to reduce the time of their debris removal process.

We are reducing the time through multiple tactics. These include removing unnecessary breaks, assigning vehicle storage locations, and improving the transportation of the debris between the neighborhoods and disposal sites. A fueling plan eliminates unnecessary breaks for the vehicles and suggests having a gas truck fuel the vehicles during the workers’ lunch break. Increasing the number of vehicle storage locations, or depots, reduces unnecessary travel. This makes it faster for the employees to begin their work at the start of the day. 

The transportation plan creates standards for the waste management employees and shows which disposal sites are fastest to reach from each city zone. Together, these tactics create a process improvement implementation plan.

Team (L to R):
Kayla Oden (IME), Carmen Araujo (IME), Ryan Patrick (IME) & George Perez (IME)
Beth Gray, M.S., P.E., Reginald C. Ofuani & Roderic Hightower
City of Tallahassee