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Project no.4
Airplane De-icing System

Project Manager: Airplane De-icing System - Rotation Mechanism Design, Manufacturing Process

Role: design of rotation assembly, calculation of slewing gear stress analysis, implementation of manufacturing process

The purpose of this project is to assist T.H.A.W. team members in gathering a deeper understanding of product development and how to properly create a product from start to finish. The focus of this project was the automated de-icing machine. A strict design process was followed from the beginning d this allowed for an accurate model to be created. The members of T.H.A.W. have learned much up to this point; the main takeaways being the importance of a strong iterative design process, along with having solid, responsible management in place.

 

In the beginning the class was split into three concepts groups, who each made a model to pitch to our client. The overall design was then chosen and the final details were ironed out. This allowed for the initial phase of the project to come to an end. The first phase allowed the members to understand how to compete for a contract, and how to adapt the clients needs once the contract is finalized. During the second phase, the business side was initiated. A Make vs buy analysis was conducted, among other things. This allowed for experience to be gained in the manufacturing space. The lessons learned included budgeting, sourcing parts, working with vendors, and much more. This is all valuable real-world experience.

The original three solutions that were conceived early during this project was reviewed and analyzed separately on how they operate and how they intended to fulfill the customer’s needs followed by the finalized design concept. The finalized concept is divided into key operations. An estimated cost and selling price is determined based on the Bill of Materials of out-sourced purchased parts, in-house manufactured parts, estimated cost of needed of electrical equipment and labour force based on minimum requirements.

 

Each operation is made into a sub-assembly for the final design and was designed with increased detail. The components of each sub-assembly are divided into two main groups, the out-sourced and in-house components. For each sub-assembly the outsourced components are analyzed and determined if it is justified that purchasing listed parts is reasonable and practicable. For the parts where manufacturing them in-house at our facility was possible and reasonable, they were subjected to a thorough structural analysis to ensure that they would fulfill the necessary functional requirements to allow the design to operate without having to worry about a structural failure. With according to approved Engineering standards, each component has met the requirements under certain assumptions primarily being that the parts are new and suffer no manufacturing defect.

The reports that have been submitted up to this point include the initiation report, the feasibility proposal, the load-case report, and the individual design report. These reports along with meetings have allowed the team to come to a consensus regarding the best design to move forward with. The current system will have four assemblies, each positioned at specific points to allow for maximized coverage of the airplanes as they pass through. Each of these assemblies will be identical, made of the subassemblies: Counter-Weight, End-Of-Arm-Tooling, Glycol Management, Rotation, Telescoping Horizontal Arm, and Vertical Tower. While many of these subassemblies meshed well prior to this report, it was necessary for some redesign and finesse to ensure that all subassemblies, and the parts within them, had appropriate, consistent information to use when calculating forces and resistances to deformation.

Sub-assembly Technical Overview:

The air management system is responsible for pressurizing, storing and delivering heated compressed air to the end effector. Once delivered to the end effector, the pressurized air is combined with glycol and sprayed onto the aircraft; removing as much ice buildup as possible. The system requires a compressor for pumping air into the tank and a heater to warm the air as it leaves the tank. These sub-systems are not required to be designed but have factors that may impact the entire system.

Glycol Management subsystem was selected to cover every aspect of our project that pertains to the dispensing and collecting of de-icing fluid and anti-icing fluid. Due to Type I and Type IV fluids having different properties (Type IV fluids contain polymeric thickeners), they will need to be stored and dispensed through different systems.

The purpose of the End of Arm Tooling is to provide an efficient and effective solution to apply the required de-icing fluid to an aircraft. This will be achieved with one prismatic joint and two revolute joints, one parallel to the prismatic and one perpendicular. The Tooling consists of the following main sections: upper mounting bracket, linkage system, lower linkage revolute joint, worm gear system, and nozzle.

The telescoping horizontal arm is used to provide the distance required to reach the majority of the aircraft’s surface area. It will be mounted to the vertical assembly with the counter weight on one end and end-effector on the other. The horizontal arm will be able to telescope in and out to provide a large range of motion and avoid collisions with the other assemblies. The general design of the arm is a truss structure which maximizes horizontal strength while minimizing overall weight similar to a crane. The telescoping horizontal arm will be connected to the other assemblies using simple and efficient methods. Generally, these will be either through pins, bearings, plates and fasteners. The material used will be a common low-carbon steel such as A36 or 44W to conserve costs while providing the required tensile strength

 

The Rotation portion of the de-icing machine is made up of 4 parts which consists of the Slewing Unit - Top, Slewing Ring and Gear, Slewing Unit - Bottom, and the Vertical Truss. The Slewing Ring top and bottom base houses the slewing ring and gear mechanism which is how the arm and all components attached to it rotated.

 

The counter weight system is designed to counteract the weight from the horizontal members on the opposite side of the vertical frame. This is to prevent the center of gravity of the entire structure from moving outside the base frame. If the center of gravity was outside the base frame, extra bending moment forces would be applied to the base, possibly tipping the entire structure.

 

The concrete slabs are attached to the ballast plate by the ballast pins. A motor attached to a pinion also sits on this plate. The ballast plate has a set of six v-grooved castors that sit on the base plate along with a rack and pinion rack. When the telescoping horizontal arm extends away from the counter weight, the motor turns the pinion, rolling the ballast plate and concrete slabs in the opposite direction of the telescoping horizontal arm.

Business & Manufacturing Overview:

T.H.A.W's business goals are the creation of a finished product and the establishment of a loyal customer base before expanding further (short-term v. long-term goals). This appears to be a relatively untapped niche as automation remains a relatively new technology. Due to this, our company will capitalize and be able to cut costs in certain areas while improving performance, throughput and reducing environmental damage. T.H.A.W. is projected to earn over $350,000 CAD (net) within the first year and, predicated on the creation of the customer base, a sharp upturn in profits in the following years.

 

T.H.A.W will need over 40 employees costing over 1 million dollars; a mix of mostly full-time employees with some contractors and part time workers. T.H.A.W will attempt to machine in house for a variety of parts to reduce costs; this decision was determined via the previously submitted Make Vs. Buy Report. Marketing will represent a challenge and will require aggressive action, extensive customization to get the customer onboard, and perhaps even incorporating a sensationalized social media aspect that focuses on the technological advancement aspect of the product. As the product is only currently in Ontario, there will be opportunity for expansion within Canada and eventually the rest of the World assuming sales and profits are where they need to be.

T.H.A.W will be split into 3 separate departments for engineering, sales, and finance. There will be attempts to keep the organizational structure relatively flat to encourage employee autonomy and responsibility (5-6 levels). The company is located in central Mississauga, and as such there will be many benefits to be found for being located in the GTA.

T.H.A.W prides itself on being a lean company and as such it will focus on implementing all of the various Toyota Manufacturing Policies (Jidoka, Kaizen, 5S, etc.). T.H.A.W will also focus on remaining local (at least initially), and ensuring that the environment is always kept in mind when making manufacturing decisions. The process selection for individual part manufacturing will be detailed further in the report and represents an expansion on ideas presented in earlier reports.

 

T.H.A.W. will create a customer first QA policy that promises adherence to the highest quality standards and environmental standards. Through the implementation of the T.H.A.W system there will be improvement to the swamps and environments surrounding airports due to decreased runoff. Additionally, the drinking water in many areas is contaminated by de-icing fluid, T.H.A.W’s system would not do this and would present a safer, healthier alternative. By utilizing best ergonomic practices (NIOSH, etc.), T.H.A.W. will always have a heavy focus on preventing worker injury and improving employee satisfaction.

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