Student group helps Edmonton-based company streamline manufacturing process
In the world of manufacturing, time is money. No one knows that better than the winners of NAIT’s Capstone applied research project symposium – RAL Lean Consulting. The group’s three members developed processes and re-developed a manufacturing space for their client, McCoy Drilling and Completion, which will reduce costs and increase productivity for the company.
“Each year the Capstone groups are given an opportunity to show case the work they have done to solve a real-world challenge presented by a sponsor,” said David Schmaus, associate chair of the Bachelor of Technology in Technology program. “This year, RAL Lean Consulting emerged as the group deemed to have designed the solution that will have the most impact on their project sponsor’s operations.”
The recommendations made by RAL Lean Consulting’s three members – Adrian Jaramillo, Lisa Spurrell and Rajesh Bali – are being incorporated by McCoy at one of its plants in Edmonton. Specifically, the student team identified a bottleneck in the process of manufacturing an electronic device used for data logging in the oil industry, and found a way to eliminate this bottleneck.
The Capstone applied research project gives students the opportunity to use the skills and knowledge they have learned in the courses they have taken in BTech.
In September, the students were divided into 12 teams and matched with an industry sponsor. The teams had six months to design real-world solutions to problems posed by their industry sponsors. After 600-800 hours of intensive teamwork, solutions were presented to a panel of judges. Four teams were chosen to represent BTech at the NAIT BTech Capstone Symposium, held April 18 at Main Campus.
“It was awesome,” said Bali, reacting to the first place finish. “It took a little while to sink in. There were a lot of great projects presented.”
Bali, who is wrapping up his studies at NAIT, is also the manufacturing and service manager in McCoy’s WinCatt division, which is the area where the bottleneck was identified by the students.
RAL Lean consulting won $3,000 for their first place finish.
“The Capstone guidance team is proud of the work that RAL has done and join with the rest of the Capstone teams in congratulating them on their $3,000 prize as the top team in this year’s symposium,” said Schmaus.
The following projects were the other finalists in this year’s competition:
• Wil-ful Innovations tested an existing technology that converts plastic into its constituent oil products. The students ran 11 different experiments to determine what this oil product was composed of and what its commercial value might be.
• Trifecta Sustainable Solutions applied the Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Rating System (STARS) to develop a baseline of the sustainability status of NAIT, allowing for measureable improvements on campus.
• HED Consulting tested different glazing angles and incorporated innovative reflectors to optimize the development of a high-efficiency solar greenhouse.
Click here to view a video of the applied research project symposium.
NAIT is one of Canada’s leading polytechnics, with almost 80,000 registrations worldwide in key areas including science, technology and the environment, business, health care and trades. Known for real-world education and student success, NAIT also engages with business and industry in applied research and innovation and provides corporate training around the world. NAIT enrolled its first students - 29 communication electrician apprentices - in 1962 and this year celebrates its 50th anniversary.
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