MPS Sponsored a Senior Design Team at UNCC


MPS Sponsored a Senior Design Team at UNCC

For the third year in a row, MPS has sponsored a Senior Design team at the University of North Carolina Charlotte (UNCC).  This year's team was tasked with finding a way to improve the Zforce distribution arrester stack winding cells by automating the process, conducting feasibility studies, and building a prototype model to prove the concept.  This part of the arrester assembly process combines the active elements of an arrester known as Metal Oxide Varistors (MOV) into a fiberglass reinforced stack before they are sent to the injection molding process.  Currently, the process involves manually combining the piece part components, over winding them with tape to hold them together, and then placing them in another machine to apply a fiberglass coating.  The project, dubbed "Automated Filament Winder," was sponsored by the York Design Engineering group.

Beginning in fall 2012, seven UNCC students were given a list of deliverables which included improving production rates, reducing overall part costs, and eliminating quality defects before planning their design process.  The first task was for the students to visit the York plant, in fact one of several trips, in order to see the existing process, gather data, and discuss process and design ideas with the engineering and production staff.  The students then developed several design concepts to accomplish the project goals before selecting the one they would prototype.  Through the winter and into the spring of 2013, they built a prototype machine to automatically take the individual piece part components, combine them in the proper assembly order, wrap them with tape, and present them to the operator for the final fiberglass winding step.  The team then had to deliver the prototype, all related schematics and design files, and feasibility study results at the spring Senior Design Expo, which was held on May 2nd.  At the expo, the team presented their findings and was able to show that they met all of the specified design requirements.  The prototype also had functioning parts to show proof of design concept and the operations involved in their system.  It was a very popular display at the expo and attracted many inquisitive visitors.  Of 43 competing project teams, the MPS team placed 3rd overall in the "Best Project Competition," exemplifying the amount of time and hard work they put in on this endeavor.


Automated Filament Winder



Zforce Distribution Arrester

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