Past Senior Design Projects
Each semester we have the pleasure of working with local companies on projects as part of our Senior Design Program. These projects are an opportunity for companies to use student resources to have new concepts and fresh ideas injected into their real-world projects. This sponsorship is rewarding for both the project sponsor and the student team. We would like to thank all our past sponsors for their participation in the program.
Student Team: Taylor Ellis, Kierra Simmons, Vittorio Lagnerini
Ashley Furniture produces 675,000 units a year and must protect these products during distribution, transportation and delivery. They currently use 12-14 associates across five main process steps to manually pack these products. This process creates bottlenecks that increase downtimes during high volume and afternoon production.
The senior design team increased capacity while using the same or less labor. It also streamlined the process by looking at automating critical steps along the way.
Student Team: Kelsey Delauter, Brendan Geideman, Gabriel Murazzi
Duke Manufacturing is an aerospace machine shop that currently uses a time-consuming “guess and check” scheduling system and relies on one employee. They want to develop a more systematic scheduling method to understand their capacity better.
The senior design team created an Excel scheduling tool that would consolidate vendor order information to one sheet and created schedules by due date and prioritization.
Student Team: Nicolas Leone, James Ma, Spencer Matthews
GSK is considering adding autonomous mobile robots (AMR) to their manufacturing facility in Zebulon to automate the delivery of finished goods to the warehouse. They want to simulate the use of AMRs to see if they can increase annual production by 50% by 2023.
The student team optimized material delivery and removal based on requirements and throughput rates. Using SIMIO simulation software, they identified 25 scenarios with different vehicle quantities and production volumes. The team picked an optimal utilization value that maximized payback and minimized risk.
NC State Sports Medicine
Student Team: Brooke Rubendall, Maria Garza, David Riggins
NC State Sports Medicine wants to evaluate further the electronic formatting, distribution, collection, assessment and management of their medical record documentation forms and data. They are considering moving to a new health management platform.
The ISE team worked with a new software platform that reduces the time taken for data collection and storage, saving trainers hours and giving them time to work with the student-athletes.
NIOSH – A
Student Team: Charles Jacobson, Pratham Chhabria, Diego Hernandez, Charles Gras-Najjar
NIOSH wishes to reduce risk to workers within a shared human-robot workspace. Using a depth camera and regular RGB camera, they hope to develop a process that can distinguish between robot arms and human workers’ movements in a shared workspace.
The student research team integrated a sensor with existing and modified motion detection algorithms and developed a software interface for human workers’ motion detection.
NIOSH – B
Student Team: Brandon Canfield, Dylan Hanser, Luke Bailey
NIOSH wishes to reduce risk to workers by developing a safe and ergonomic method (wireless or wired) for demolition robots’ remote control in the construction industry.
The student team researched the most intuitive design for human workers to operate the robot safely. Volunteers tested the controller configurations using an Arduino robot arm. The students recommended successful HMI studies to develop a controller and the guidelines to create a safer working experience for users.
Root Causes Food Bank
Student Team: Carolyn Drahuse, Sarah McConnell
Due to the spike in food-insecure patients from Duke clinics caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Root Causes’ Fresh Produce Program has struggled with organizational stability. This change has hampered the program’s ability to coordinate its weekly fresh food deliveries.
The ISE team created process maps and identified high impact areas for improvement. The students identified the patient data entry process as the operation’s bottleneck by analyzing these process maps. They automated this process and reduced cycle time by 96.7% each week.
US Air Force
Student Team: Samuel Cynamon, Mariel Jeffries, Carolyn Drahuse, Jason Wheeler
The US Air Force’s scheduling team must currently input all data for deployments and user information of their 524th Special Operations Squadron annually. The 150 person squadron maintains 40 deployed positions across the globe year-round.
To streamline the process, the senior design team delivered a Microsoft Access file that automated specific, everyday tasks and created a database for the data to be stored. The personnel scheduling and planning tool allows maximum stability and real-time analytic accuracy of personnel travel tempo.
Student Team: Ethan Houser, Emily Thomas, Brenton Munana
Vanguard Furniture wants to submit an $8 million bid to a large potential customer. They need to determine if their current production line can handle the extra demand or if changes are necessary to their production process and inventory capacity.
The student team created a useful tool to forecast and justify taking on the potential client’s bid. The tool also allows Vanguard to see the current status of their seven production divisions.
Student Team: Kayla Mumford, Jessica Prince, Claire Copeland
West Pharmaceuticals is concerned for its worker’s safety and wants to reorganize its Kinston, NC facility’s compounding and maintenance areas.
The senior design team implemented a flexible 6S system that could roll out to other facility areas. This system significantly reduced safety hazards in the target areas, and the team also reduced the amount spent looking for the required tools and materials.
Student Team: Zach Arledge, Sarah Gidley, Kristine Kesling, James Pinson, Meredith Rhoney
Bosch is a large home appliance manufacturer in New Bern, NC. They want to shift its dishwasher manufacturing assembly line from lot sizes of 120 to 24 by 2023. This shift will provide more flexibility and increase customization opportunities. The project’s goal is to reduce product transfer times by 60 percent.
The student team first studied the requirements and then redesigned the mobile carts to hold parts in multiples of 24. Since Bosch’s vendors will be using the solution as well, the new carts had to meet their specs also. The new design not only met Bosch’s average weekly demand but was more ergonomically sound than the original.
Commercial Vehicle Group (CVG) – A
Student Team: Caroline Baldauff, Bethany Colglazier, Aditya Patel, Spencer Hebert
CVG is a global vehicle supplier with production facilities in North Carolina. They want to improve on-time delivery and reduce freight costs due to inaccurate shipments. This project will provide CVG with a real-time production tracking system.
The student team improved the company’s shipping process by placing four scanners and a barcode reader in strategic locations. Along with an automated picklist generator, they were able to cut non-value-added time and reduce the risk of manual entry errors.
Commercial Vehicle Group (CVG) – B
Student Team: Chris Hill, Scott Laing, Santiago Morales, Xiwen Xu
CVG supplies vehicle parts to the world from its production facilities in North Carolina. Their current shipping process and facility layout lead to mis-shipped and mislabeled items.
The ISE team provided a real-time production tracking system that provides data for key performance indicators (KPI). Using SIPOC, fishbone diagram and simulation, they identified bottlenecks as well as locations to provide KPI’s. The team recommended installing four 2D barcode readers within the production line for greater production control.
Student Team: John Casabonne, Farrah Jordi, Joseph Magnuson, Kyle Williams, Caroline MacDowell
Apex, North Carolina facility processes thousands of products each day for their Field Return Material (FRM) Disk Drive Return to Vendor (DDRTV) process. To process these components, the current layout of the facility needs to be more efficient.
The team conducted a work analysis and created a simulation to optimize the workflow of a specific cell. To accommodate the cell for a smaller headcount, the students reduced the queueing area size. This minimized the walking distances between stations. Through this simulation, they also removed unused equipment and inefficient work steps.
Dispensary of Hope
Student Team: Lauren Arnold, Emma Moore, Claire Mayo, Emily Carberry
Dispensary of Hope is a non-profit pharmaceutical distributor that needs optimization models to provide information and develop a growth strategy.
Using their models, the ISE team generated three different lists. These each had ten communities on which the company should focus. This focused lists led to the most significant community impact and a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) algorithm. The MVP quantifies their service level to its current sites, the demand for their services across the country (broken down to the county level) and the National Provider Index’s list of non-profit pharmacies. This data analysis will allow the Dispensary of Hope to target non-profit pharmacy partnerships.
KBI Biopharma – A
Student Team: Jaiden Augustine, Aiden Berry, Abdullah Al Fadhil, Matthew Rholl
KBI is a biopharmaceutical manufacturing company. They produce batch pharmaceutical products for use in clinical trials and other testing. However, the scheduling of batches is a manual process without specific optimization criteria.
Using Orchestrate software, the student team could schedule 5 percent more batches based on the previous year’s historical data. They were also able to cost-justify the software expense. While analyzing nighttime cleaning schedules, the team was able to generate extra profit.
KBI Biopharma – B
Student Team: Lingchao Mao, Jacob Marek, Tara Martin, Noah Wenk
KBI Biopharma specializes in cell-line manufacturing, drug development and analytical and formulation development. Efficient process monitoring is critical as some processes can run for 14 to 20 days. Current software is unable to combine multiple data streams into one display.
The ISE team used OSI Pi software to make dashboards that showed the upstream and downstream processes. These dashboards also track equipment effectiveness and product quality.
NC State Veterinarian Medicine
Student Team: Sam Bauers, Nolan Fischer, Marzanne DeLapp de Anaya
The NC State College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) Laboratory Animal Resources (LAR) and Central Procedures Laboratory (CPL) receives 1600 animal research requests yearly. LAR and CPL supply necessary services to the CVM. This system is a massive logistical challenge, and their current process is error-prone.
The student team was able to streamline activity at the facility by developing new versions of the LAR’s forms. The new processes provided the CVM team insight into all requests that are coming down the pipeline. The ability to forecast usage allows the clinic to plan for supplies and capacity, and it also allows for predetermined resource use.
Novo Nordisk – A
Student Team: Ross Bolla, Katherine Bygate, Tyler Conrad, Ben Janzow, Sarah Trinkle
Novo Nordisk is a Danish pharmaceutical company specializing in products for diabetes and obesity. The operators in their finished product department had significant idle times, and Novo Nordisk needed a solution. Solving this issue would avoid low product output per operator rates.
The ISE team was able to create a standard staffing and workforce plan for all seven assemblies. With their analysis, they also produced a perfect-state simulation and developed a standardized staffing schedule. The team was also able to create models that improved assembly line coverage as well as cross-training responsibilities for all future state possibilities.
Novo Nordisk – B
Student Team: Will Burns, Iman Fisher, Englyn Harris, Alana Oktay, Vishal Sharma
Novo Nordisk is a Danish pharmaceutical manufacturing company and is the largest producer of insulin in the world. Currently, their Clayton, NC facility’s onsite storage exceeded their target capacity. This excess led to the scrapping of production material and increased production costs.
The ISE student team used past data to create more onsite storage space for components of Novo Nordisk’s newest product. They also calculated the flow of products through the facility to account for the product volume cut overflow.
Patch Rubber Company
Student Team: Kathryn Barnes, Charles Blum, Johnny Davis, Eli Wilson, Kevin To
Patch Rubber is a leader in industrial rubber and traffic marking products. Production capacity, layout efficiency and product scheduling are areas needed to support Patch Rubber’s continued growth.
The ISE team was able to create several system improvements through data analysis. These included work standards and line layouts. It also included extra processing equipment as well as scheduling enhancements. Their solution lowered production times and increased throughput. This improvement led to significant capital investments in a 3-week ROI.
Student Team: Tyler Anne Giglio, Mithila Khare, Logan Harris, Christian Ebhote, Chelsea Metzger
Qorvo provides the core technologies found in mobile, network infrastructure, and IoT. Their Greensboro, NC operations focus on the assembly of customer-driven prototypes. Accurate factory commit dates (FCDs) are crucial to the plant’s competitiveness and the success of its clients.
Using process-mapping tools, the senior design team built a simulation of a multi-scenario product build process. They then used their ISE skills to model Qorvo’s production system. The simulation tool allows company planners to predict FCDs with much higher accuracy. It also provides more benefits in job and resource scheduling.
Student Team: Rachel Dilley, Khoa Huynh, Courtney Jones, Miriam Lavelle
Ribbon Communications installs custom communication infrastructure across North America. Each one of their projects requires close collaboration and communication in four areas. These are fulfillment, deployment, logistics, and the warehouse. Currently, too much time is being wasted sharing information via email. This waste also leads to low productivity.
The ISE students used surveys to understand the processes and their shortfalls. They designed a system that uses resident data and signaling capabilities to streamline and automate information sharing. Their solution has led to an 84 percent improvement.