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School of Engineering

Capstone Innovation Design Clinic ~ Fall 2019 Teams

Capstone IDC | Engineering Service Learning | Mobile App Challenge

Capstone IDC Teams (18) | Fall 2019

(For prior years team descriptions, visit our Teams Archive)


Self-Cleaning Filter: The objective for this project is to create a self-cleaning filter for food processing applications. The filter will mitigate the amount of particulates, in our case, feathers, that blinds a sensor that reads PH levels for which food is being washed in. This will allow the user to have accurate readings of the concentration levels so that the food being washed is up to USDA & FDA standards. 


Washing and Inspection of Inaccesible Solar Panels: In 2018, UC Merced installed a solar panel system on the Half Dome dorming unit under the Power Purchase Agreement. The system is expected to contribute an estimated $518k in total savings over the next 25 years. However, due to OSHA regulations and the panel installation height, the system is inaccessible to previously known cleaning processes. In the absence of a cleaning process, the solar panel system will result in an estimated 30% loss in savings over the 25 year time period. Our team has devised a cleaning unit process that can cut losses to an estimated 9-6%.


Walker Falling Monitor: Our objective is to create a system of sensors to detect the fall of elderly patients while they are using a standard 4 legged walker. The sensors will detect when a fall will occur and its direction.


Flow Dynamics in a Factory Trench System: Our objective is to remove the PET from the factory trench system at Peninsula Plastic Recycling in order to allow for flow in their trenches. Currently PET and other debris clogs the trenches and causes flooding. We are tasked to find a solution to avoid the clogging and flooding of the trench. 


Bin Liner Assembly: Morning Star Company currently has two people who manually insert plastic liners into bins, an expensive process due to the associated requirements for labor. Our four leg bin liner insertion system was created to maintain production efficiency, reduce labor costs, and properly insert the liner into the bin with a two-foot overhang.


Water Treatment: This team wiil desing a working prototype of a water treatment system used to remove MOT (dirt, rocks, and vines) from the product flow at the Morning Star Company. 


Automated Electrical Meter Firmware Programmer in Production Line: The team is tasked with developing a mechanical prototype that will allow sweep to program multiple electrical meters with little user input. If successful we should be able to program and test 6 meters in parallel with a visual led system that will indicate successful programming of the meters.


Underground Geolocation: The objective of this project is to design a solution, that provides a more accurate location for workers to reference while they are working in the underground tunnels. The solution designed will help reduce delays for riders due to maintenance that extends into the weekend and worker efficiency in track.


Maintenance Vehicle Vibration Analysis and Design Modification – Phase 2: This project is Phase 2 of a project started in the previous semester. The team is using data analyzed in Phase 1, which identified the likely cause(s) of unwanted vibrations that make BART’s powered flat maintenance vehicle dangerous to travel at top speeds in. Phase 2 will design a better powered flat. The second phase’s final product will be a report recommending cost effective vehicle design modifications to address the issue of unwanted vibration.


BART Pigeon Mitigation: The objective behind Team 10: Bart Pigeon Mitigation is to resolve the on-going issue of pigeons roosting, nesting, and defecating at BART stations. Pigeons create problems for both BART passengers and station workers, our team is designing a variety of solutions that will match each pigeon-impacted area. To solve this issue, we have proposed both physical and auditory deterrents. We hope our proposed design solutions will bolster BART’s mission to create a clean and inviting space for the public.


Condensate Wastewater Conservation: The objective behind this project is to develop a system that utilizes condensent water extracted from a vaccum pan.

12.  E. & J. GALLO WINERY | E. & J. GALLO'S TEAM 12 

Glass Bottle Broken Finish Detection: Due to the amount of transport required to move some empty glass bottles to the Spirits facility, many arrive with small defects - especially chips or breaks in the finish. These are a risk to the safety of the consumer if they are not detected. Currently all detection is done manually by human inspectors. Our team was tasked to design a system to allow automated detection of chipped and broken bottle finished on incoming spirits glass in line at full speed. As a team we will generate a proposal of the best detection option for the Spirits facility that will include quote, design, equipment specifications, estimated % detection, possible coding, etc.

13. E. & J. GALLO WINERY | E. & J. Giraffe

Barrel Leak Detection: E&J Gallo Winery has recently began to manufacture premium brandy at their facilities. One of the dilemmas that they are facing is the inability to detect leaks from their barrels automatically. Our goal as a team is to design an automated system that will be able to detect leaks and alert our client.


Quantification of Muscle Strength: Current medical practices quantify muscle strength on a scale of one to five based on whether the muscle is numb, cannot resist gravity, can resist gravity, can resist an applied force, or can exert a greater force than applied. However, there is variance between physician to physician on the perception of strength in a patient; as the patient must resist forces applied by the physician to define this scale. To overcome this challenge, our team is tasked to quantify the strength of the bicep muscle such that physicians at Valley Children's Hospital are able to define a norm for healthy muscle strength in children of ages 5-10 years.


Single Strength Juice: Our goal is to identify the bottlenecks in Del Monte's juice making process in order to maximize the juice output per unit time. A process flow diagram will be constructed to show the inefficiencies and which stage is limiting production. A proposed concept of new tanks and addition of draining pipes that will separate the digestion stage into four parts will help tackle the bottleneck. A cost analysis will then be analyzed to prove the feasibility of this addition to the existing production process.


Lake Yosemite Capacity Curve: Merced Irrigation District (MID) owns and operates Lake Yosemite, which has an inlet from the Merced River and outlets in the Le Grand and Fairfield canals. In order to optimize operation of the reservoir at Lake Yosemite and to update safety planning documents for various regulatory agencies, MID requires information on the capacity of the lake. LY Surveyors will utilize SONAR equipment to perform bathymetry of the lake and create a digital elevation model of the lakebed topography, allowing for accurate assessment of the storage capacity at any observed water surface level. Information provided from this analysis will be used in hydrologic modeling software such as HEC-RAS to perform simulations of the watershed under various scenarios.


Self-Assisted Bicycle Rack: Our goal of this project is to derive a bicycle rack which lifts a mounted bike from ground level to the top of the car with little to no human interaction. Our preferred design concept is the falcon wing design. Essentially, the falcon wing uses a source of power to assist manual operation. The end deliverable is to create a prototype of our model.


What's Your Soil Quality?: Fusion Optics Co. is producing a miniaturized soil analysis system to allow farmers to measure the nutrients levels of their farmland soil at more rapid and efficient rates. Our system will reduce input costs for farmers regarding soil samples, fertilizer, and employee wages, resulting in a larger output gain. The use of optical sensors has the potential to provide accurate data that allows farmers to supply their crops with an accurate level of fertilizer which in turn will increase health and output yield of crops, thus increasing overall profit. Fusion Optics Co. and smart agriculture technology is building off an up and coming revolution of more efficient and optimized farmland measuring systems.

(For prior years team descriptions, visit our Teams Archive)

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