Capstone IDC Teams (34) | Spring 2019
(For prior years team descriptions, visit our Teams Archive)
Team 1. TAYLOR FARMS | SPLENDID BROCCOLI
Valuable Broccoli Constituents:This project pertains to a research opportunity to determine if the by-product leftover from the Taylor Farms harvesting of broccoli contains any protein or phenolic compounds. The team investigated the protein and phenolic compounds found in broccoli plants through assessments to see if there is any use of the by-products. The result will be a quantitative analysis report discussing the total protein and phenolic compounds found in the by-product of the broccoli plants.
Team 2. SCHOLLE PACKAGING | TENSILE TEST OPTIMIZATION
Tensile Test Optimization:The project pertains to tensile testing of flexible packaging for Scholle IPN’s wine bags and other packaging products. The team investigated the clamps used to perform seal and perforation tests of the bag at various locations and is optimizing the current pneumatic grips used for quality testing. The results will be a prototype of an optimized pneumatic grip that will be able to perform consistent, reliable, and relatively quick tensile tests.
Team 3. SCHOLLE PACKAGING | TEAM KNOCKOUT
ABM Hole Punch Optimization:Design of a more efficient hole punch apparatus that minimizes risk of misalignment of the die and blade, while optimizing its degree of range allowing the hole punch to punch holes at varying lengths. The system will serve to be more convenient while simultaneously removing knockouts created by the hole punch.
Team 4. NASA JET PROPULSION LABORATORIES | STARLIT
JPL - Recovery of Starlite Technology:Our goal is to develop a material that is capable of withstanding 10,000 degrees Celsius, drawing inspirations from the work of Mr. Maurice Ward, an English inventor best known for his invention of Starlite. As we continue with our work, we develop a quantitative testing methodology designed to hone in on future formulations that give rise to desired material characteristics relative to Starlite technology.
Team 5. NASA JET PROPULSION LABORATORIES|THE MARTIANS
Solar Collector for Oxygen Generation on Mars: NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory is looking for alternative methods to generate oxygen using the Martian atmosphere. A previous study identified a catalysis based oxidation-reduction reaction to generate oxygen, which is a viable candidate for larger production scales. However, one of the main setbacks is the power required to facilitate such a reaction. The objective is to design a system for the collection of solar power and provide simulations to demonstrate the performance of the system under Martian atmospheric conditions.
Team 6. CITY OF MERCED | WASTEWATER METHANE RECLAMATION TEAM
Wastewater Methane Reclamation:This project pertains possible uses for methane gas produced as a by-product in the process of wastewater treatment that could be considered as beneficial renewable energy projects. The team investigated different uses of the gas for the City of Merced. The result will be a professional report based on 3 final options which the team has deemed most viable, giving the advantages and disadvantages of each option.
Team 7. TURATTI | KPR
Hygienic Design of Titano:The objective of this project is to redesign Titano by Turatti Group to reduce the time it takes to clean and sanitize the machine while efficiently following the most current EPA standards. The plan is to remove the large bulky side panels while also implementing further barriers within the machine to isolate the products reducing the cleaning volume and thus the time to clean said volume.
Team 8. HERMETIA PRO | BLACK SOLDIER FLY
Black Soldier Fly: HermetiaPro is a sustainable agriculture company specializing in the cultivation and drying of black soldier fly larvae for animal feed. Currently they are using a batch drying technique for drying the larvae. The team is designing a method of drying these larvae continuously using a series of infrared lights and ultra violet light after a freezing euthanization stage. The result will be a detailed CAD of the final device and a scale table top prototype of the device.
Team 9. PARREIRA ENTERPRISES | DRYERS
Dry Plant Material: This project pertains on researching and developing method(s) to dry plant material such as alfalfa and hemp. The team investigated current methods several other companies are implementing in aim to determine which drying method is more efficient and cost effective. The result will be providing our client with a thorough research analysis on which drying method is best for their interests.
Team 10. T3 ENERGY | T3NSION
Compression Device for Highly Insulated Walls:The purpose of this project is to design a complex metal plate that conforms to the shape of its surrounding components when a desired amount of pressure is applied. This plate is a part of a tension arrangement meant to stabilize and transfer loads experienced by a composite brick wall. The team is optimizing the thickness and bending profile of the plate in order to achieve the optimum levels of strength, conformity, and cost effectiveness.
Team 11. MORNING STAR | LOS TOMATEROS
MOT Removal and Flume Water Treatment:The Morning Star Packing Company produces processed tomato products. Tomatoes for the processed food industry are harvested by machine which pulls the entire plant from the ground. Most of the plant material other than tomatoes (MOT) is discarded in the field, but about 20% of a load arriving at the factory is MOT. The tomatoes are washed down a flume system (sort of a water slide) from the unloading point into the plant. The tomatoes and MOT are separated, but some MOT remains in the flume water. Our team has designed a system to improve the water treatment/MOT removal system presently in place.
Team 12. BOTTENS FAMILY FARM | WATER MOO-VERS
Livestock Waterer: The Livestock Waterer project requires a solution for transporting 250 gallons of drinkable water to cows at the Bottens Family Farm, located in Cambridge, IL.The team identified heating as the most important issue to address; it is essential to keep the drinking water in a liquid state, especially during the freezing-cold winter months. The result will be a design for an insulated box that encapsulates a water tank with an attached recirculation system, all equipped with sensors to detect cow proximity, water levels, and temperature.
Team 13. BOWLES FARMING | MONARCH REVIVAL
Milkweed Seed Cleaning: This project involves developing a machine that will effectively separate milkweed seed from the floss material that it is bound to within the milkweed pod. The team investigated different seed and floss separation techniques such as agitation and gravitational separation. The prototype developed will utilize a positive air pressure and intercrossing combing system for optimal seed separation. By doing so, this will minimize the overall cleaning time necessary for seed collection and yield a greater seed output. The team also hopes to repurpose the floss collected after separation for alternate uses, such as in hypoallergenic materials or fabrics.
Team 14. BAY AREA RAPID TRANSIT (BART) | OBSTRUCTION DETECTION
Track Obstruction Detection:Our main goal for this project is to design and test a solution that will help BART minimize the time to detect and identify obstructions on the track way. We decided to use a camera in conjunction with an object detection algorithm. This means that the camera will record the data and then we will use the algorithm to run through the footage. Once an obstruction is detected, it will then notify BART's control center though email/message.
Team 15. BAY AREA RAPID TRANSIT (BART) | TEAM TRERAILWAY
Tracking Inspection Apparatus:This project pertains different methods of track inspection to improve efficiency for BART. The team investigated different sensors to measure deterioration and is developing a system that would measure deterioration underneath the railbase as well as the distance between the heads of the rails. The result will be a small scale prototype that can be scaled up to fit the required dimensions of BART's rail system.
Team 16. BAY AREA RAPID TRANSIT (BART) | ODOR ABATEMENT
Ventilation and Atomization on Open Plazas:This project pertains two methods for odor abatement in BART Plazas. The team investigated minimal maintenance approaches to lowering odor perception. They are developing a ventilation system with a wind funnel to improve air circulation, as well as, an atomization system to infuse treated air. The result will be a scaled prototype and implementation study to prove the design’s adaptability for other plaza varieties
Team 17. BAY AREA RAPID TRANSIT (BART) | PERFECT PAVEMENT
Paved Road Perfection: Our client, BART has stations in various cities in the Bay Area. At these stations, pavement will tend to crack and uplift due to various factors over time. Our project is to resolve pavement that has been uplifted and/or cracked. Current practices either makes the pavement unattractive or is too costly. Our solution will repair concrete while keeping cost low, improving the aesthetic, increasing the strength of the pavement and also improving customer safety.
Team 18. TRANPAK | TRIUMVIRATE BOX GROUP
Reusable CheeseBox: We are tasked with engineering a reusable plastic box for Gallo Farms in order for them to produce cheese with an environmentally friendly method while saving time and costs with a more structural sound box to hold the cheese in its shape.
Team 19. TURLOCK IRRIGATION DISTRICT | TID FISH STRAINER
Fish Strainer: This project pertains to preventing salmon from entering two drainage pipes owned by Turlock Irrigation District, the Harding and Nielson drains. The team investigated physical and behavioral barriers to deter fish from entering the drainage and is currently developing a drainage outlet attachment that will both prevent fish from entering the drainage as well as allow for the passage of weeds. The result will be a working prototype and the conclusions from experiments for changes in water flow, the prevention of all fish from entering, and the effectiveness of allowing a variety of debris to exit.
Team 20. SWEEP ENERGY | PRODUCTION LINE TEAM
Production Line: Sweep Energy's Production Line Team is working on implementing a more efficient assembly process. The team has two areas of focus that include: streamlining their printed circuit board (PCBs) assembly, and improving their injection molding process to increase production yields. Production Line Team has investigated various manufacturing techniques in attempt at maximizing Sweep Energy’s assembly process and will be providing the company with design ideas and a prototype.
Team 21. SWEEP ENERGY | POWER
Power Supply: Sweep Energy uses an Internet of Things device in real time to monitor load and performance of a wide range of machinery. Currently the way power is supplied to their device is an invasive method. This is driving up cost for Sweep Energy due to labor for a certified electrician. The team was asked to design, build, and test a non-invasive power supply to generate enough power to two of their monitoring devices.
Team 22. UCSF FRESNO | SPRING TEAM
Walker Phase 2: The goal is to design a device that attaches to any walker. When the walker begins to tilt backward, the device will launch a small rod that is perpendicular to the floor, 'catching' the individual and preventing them from falling. The device will be composed of a mixture of both mechanical and electrical components. A gyroscope and accelerometer will be used to measure the orientation of the walker. When it senses that the walker is tilting back, a signal will be sent to the Arduino, which will then activate the solenoid to release the spring loaded rod.
Team 23. EHSANI LAB | PISTA-CHEWS
Designing a Sorting Machine for Pistachio Kernels: This project pertains in considering different approaches to sort pistachio based on their color for the Agricultural Engineering Technology Lab that is conjoined with the the University of California, Merced. The team investigated different approaches that aims to reduce the chance of the sorting machine to inaccurately sort pistachios and is developing a three stage process of singulation, detection, and sorting to accurately sort pistachios kernels using their physical properties. The result will be scale-sized prototype that works with the parameters of color that could help with revenue in the food industry.
Team 24. MORNING STAR | TEAM RED
Tomato Vision System: Using the technology provided by Morning Star Company, this project aims to accurately count a tray of plants, specifically tomato seedlings within a 1% accuracy. Our solution must comply with the green house operations and be economically practical to counting plants as opposed to using hand labor.
Team 25. E. & J. GALLO WINERY | SAFE HOSE KEY
Safe Hose Key: This project pertains to a hose key used to attach and detach pipes that transfer grape juice into tanks for the wine making process for E.&J. Gallo. The team investigated different materials, manufacturing methods and the most efficient design to produce a long lasting hose key. The result will be a hose key prototype that will attach and detach pipes as well as provide an ergonomic grip for the workers.
Team 26. E. & J. GALLO WINERY | CFW ENGINEERING COPPERHEADS
Single Head Capper Adapter:This project pertains to making E&J Gallo Winery’s single head capper testing apparatus, originally made for Zalkin capper heads, compatible with the Bertolaso capper heads. The team investigated and performed preliminary design analysis for multiple adapter design options for Gallo. The design concept with the most merit will be fully realized in CAD drawings and tested with stress simulation. Then a functional prototype will be created to test on the Single Head Capper, to ensure operation.
Team 27. E. & J. GALLO WINERY | THE DUST ELIMINATORS
Incoming Bottle Dust Removal:This project relates a variety of possible ways to remove and collect excess dust in the process of bottling of the E & J Gallo Winery. The team investigated different possible sources of dust emittance and is developing a contained blower and vacuum concept that would significantly reduce the amount of dust accumulation in the bottling process. The result will be a working prototype and a design for full scale implementation of this concept, that will minimize employee exposure to harmful levels of dust and help Gallo improve the quality of their bottling process.
Team 28. BAY AREA RAPID TRANSIT (BART) | VEHICLE VIBRATION
Vehicle Vibration Analysis:Our team is working with Bart to help develop an instrumentation set for vibration analysis, collect live vibration data, perform basic data processing, and clearly define the instability in the locomotive. This project is split into two semesters with this semester considered as Phase 1. The goal of this phase is to pinpoint the location or locations of the vehicle’s troublesome components by determining where, when, and at what frequency vibrations are occurring. The product for Phase 1 will be a report characterizing the vehicle’s instability and identifying the most likely causes of the unwanted movement through an analysis report. The vibration data collection tools/sensor system should be designed with ease of use, maintainability, durability, reliability, and accuracy as key design criteria.
Team 29. THE WINE GROUP | SOLAR GROUP
Solar Data Compilation & Reporting:This project focuses on the operation of an online tool to optimize and simplify the evaluation of The Wine Group's solar energy performance and monitoring of PG&E data. The team investigated different software platforms and service providers and assessed their ability for data consolidation, as well as real-time automation. The end product will utilize the Wexus app as the one-stop-shop for all energy and solar analysis ranging from month-to-month generation, energy offsets, and most importantly, annual true-up performance evaluations.
Team 30. TERGIS TECHNOLOGIES | PROACTIVE MEASURES
Early detection of CLABSI in Central Line Hubs: Central Line Associated Blood Stream Infections (CLABSI) are devastating blood infections. CLABSI are most severe when the hub of the Central Line is infected and those pathogens travel downstream. Detection downstream of the hub will reduce reliance on broad-spectrum antibiotics and reduce mortality rates if the detector can discriminate pathogen species. A culture-free early detection system for these pathogens will be presented.
Team 31. TURLOCK IRRIGATION DISTRICT | WATER & PUMP CONSULTANTS
Water Contamination: This project pertains to pumping water from a trench-pit. The treated water is then expected to be stored in two tanks. The team investigated different possibilities to find water pumps and storage replacements to renovate the Turlock Irrigation District System.
Team 32. CONAGRA | DO NOT SPILL THE BEANS
Yield Loss Points: This project pertains in identifying the yield loss points throughout the making process of Rosarita Beans at Conagra Brands. The team has been investigating losses by observing and quantifying visible losses that occur in machinery, as well as the actual cooking process. Working closely with Conagra, the team has summarized the process which highlights major losses that the team is working to quantify. The result will be a yield loss map, that summarizes all yield loss points, and potentially suggested methods to reduce or prevent future losses.
Team 33. CORBIN CASH-SWEET POTATO SPIRITS | SABC
Semi-Automatic Bottle Crester:This project focused on optimizing a portion of the bottling process for Corbin Cash sweet potato distillery by creating a more efficient way to apply and glue metallic family crests to their signature bottles. The team explored several mechanical solutions for applying glue and centering the crests, before settling on the creation of a custom hand tool. The final deliverables will be a custom hand tool designed to perfectly center the family crests, along with an improved glue application system featuring better adhesive.
Team 34. CORBIN CASH-SWEET POTATO SPIRITS | VODKA FILTRATION
Vodka Filtration System: Our client has tasked us to design and build a new vodka Filtration system. The previous filtration system is of no use and a new one is needed. Vodka is currently being filtered in a gravity filtration process that requires constant supervision and does not give a constant flow rate. The goal is to create a brand-new vodka filtration system that minimizes losses, cuts production time and reduces the labor required. The number one constraint is that the flavor profile of the vodka must be consistent.