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Abstract The Competitive Assessment Laboratory In today’s quickly changing and increasingly competitive market place, it is imperative that manufacturers keep abreast of the technological advances and design innovations incorporated into competing product lines. The term competitive assessment (i.e. benchmarking) has been coined by manufacturers to describe the process of ethically acquiring, inspecting, analyzing, instrumenting and testing the product lines of other manufacturers. In the Competitive Assessment Laboratory at Rowan University, multidisciplinary teams of freshman engineering students from each of the four engineering departments perform each of the above tasks on a consumer appliance. In addition to introducing students to the science and art of design, the Competitive Assessment Laboratory allows multidisciplinary teams of faculty to assess the constantly evolving initial conditions under which the typical engineering student enters his or her course of study. The Competitive Assessment Laboratory contains 5 consumer appliance test stations featuring PC-based data acquisition systems capable of measuring thermocouple and voltage/current signals. Each station is also equipped with mechanical measurement equipment and portable materials testing equipment. ROWAN UNIVERSITY Rowan University Who we are... The comprehensive state university of Southern New Jersey. Located in Glassboro, NJ. Founded in 1923. University renamed in honor of Henry Rowan after $100 million gift in 1992 to create the College of Engineering. Rowan University consists of six colleges Business Communication Education Engineering Fine and Performing Arts Liberal Arts and Sciences ROWAN UNIVERSITY The Engineering Clinic An 8-Semester Design Sequence Freshman Clinic I: Engineering Measurements Guitar FX Pedal Freshman Clinic II: NSF Competitive Assessment Laboratory Hybrid Rocket Motor Sophomore Clinic I: Total Quality Management Sophomore Clinic II: Entrepreneurship Junior Clinics: Multidisciplinary Design Project (semester) Senior Clinics: Multidisciplinary Design Project (year) NASA mG Combustion Freshman Clinic II NSF Competitive Assessment Laboratory Competitive Assessment (i.e. benchmarking): ethically acquiring, inspecting, analyzing, instrumenting, testing and evaluating the product lines of other manufacturers. Industry Example Rowan Engineering Example Objectives The Competitive Assessment Laboratory Introduce freshmen to the science and art of design by evaluating the work of practicing designers, Introduce students to unifying engineering science principles using the consumer appliance as a test bed Enable students to determine how tradeoffs among: scientific principles, safety requirements, material properties, government regulations, manufacturing techniques, environmental considerations, aesthetics and ergonomics, and intellectual property rights impact product design. Allow freshman students to actively participate in a meaningful design effort by instrumenting and evaluating the performance of a consumer appliance and consider design improvements. Experimental Facility The Competitive Assessment Laboratory The Competitive Assessment Laboratory is equipped with 5 consumer appliance test stations. Each station is equipped with the following: Dell Optiplex GX1 PC, with flat panel monitor HP34970A Data Acquisition/Switch Unit 20 thermocouple channels 12 analog voltage channels 4 digital I/O channels Valhalla 2100 Digital Power Analyzer 2 HP33120A Function/Arbitrary Waveform Generators HP54645D Mixed Signal Oscilloscope Keithley 2000 Multimeter HP3631A Power Suppy (0-6 V, 5 A; 0-25 V, 1 A Hand tools, inspection equipment, instrumentation, soldering station, etc. Each PC is configured with LabView, HPVee, Office 2000, etc. and all HP instrumentation is linked with the computer via HPIB interface. Logistics The Competitive Assessment Laboratory Freshman Engineering Clinic II is a 16-week, 2-credit course consisting of a 1.5-hour lecture and 3.0-hour laboratory. The course consists of a semester long project that introduces design to freshmen engineering students through disassembly, inspection, materials testing, technical assessment and testing of a consumer appliance. In conjunction with the semester long project, lectures are given and laboratory experiences are performed to provide students with the rudiments of engineering science and introduce students to the realities of engineering business. The course is divided into 4 to 6 sections with at total enrollment of 100 to 120 students. Low cost consumer appliances are chosen as vehicles for competitive assessment, with each section focusing on a given type of appliance. Multidisciplinary teams of 4 to 5 students are given an appliance of a given model and make to study in detail for the entire semester. Products Evaluated The Competitive Assessment Laboratory To date, the following products have been consumer products have been inspected, analyzed, instrumented, tested and evaluated in the Competitive Assessment Laboratory: Coffee Maker Hair Dryer Electric Toothbrush Bread Maker Portable Water Filter Remote Control Car Beer Home Brewing Process Competitive Assessment Lab Coffee Maker Benchmarking Example project: students instrumented a Betty Crocker Series II coffee maker with 16 thermocouples, a power transducer and a turbine flow meter to measure: power consumption, energy losses, and Instantaneous Efficiency thermal efficiency. 1.000 mCp T7 T1 Instantaneous Power Consumption 0.750 [Watts] W Efficiency 1000 0.500 800 0.250 600 Watts Power Series1 400 0.000 0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 Tim e [sec] 200 0 0 110 220 330 440 550 660 770 880 990 1100 1210 1320 1430 Tim e [sec] Competitive Assessment Lab Electric Toothbrush Benchmarking Product Component Principles Activities Power supply AC power Examine sine wave RMS, Peak values Potted power supply Safety Dielectric strength Charger source Transformer Step-down ratios Coil Inductance (permeability vs. turns) Receiver supply Coil, rectifier Coupling Frequency RMS-to-DC conversion Battery Ni-Cd cells Energy storage density 2-minute timer Digital systems Oscillator Counter (binary) Motor DC Motor Model, torque, speed, current Mechanism Rotary/ Crankshaft Connecting rod motion Gear Train Speed reduction Gear/Torque relationships Competitive Assessment Lab Hair Dryer Benchmarking Students examined the following characteristics of each hair dryer: • Material properties, • Sound level, • Air velocity profile and mass flow rate, • Air temperature field, and • Thermal efficiency. In general, the students found that in a typical consumer hair dryer: • sound levels are dangerously high 120 • thermal efficiency is surprisingly low. 115 110 Sound Level [dB] 105 mh fg 100 W 95 90 High Setting Low Setting 85 "Cool Shot" Setting 80 0 2 4 6 8 Distance from nozzle (in.) Acknowledgements The Competitive Assessment Laboratory The project described in this poster was made possible by an NSF ILI Grant (DUE98-50563) along with matching funds from the College of Engineering at Rowan University.
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