Methods Sponsors Wentworth Institute Capstone Project

Methods Machine Tools Inc. sponsored a senior year capstone project for several electromechanical engineering students. The students designed an infeed system for automated cell projects.

�

Electromechanical engineering students from Wentworth Institute of Technology presented their infeed system project designs to Methods managers and engineers.

Methods Machine Tools Inc. sponsored a senior year capstone project for several fifth year electromechanical engineering students from Wentworth Institute of Technology (Boston, Massachusetts). The project involved researching and designing a new type of infeed system for potential use in future Methods’ automated cell projects. The students presented their designs to Methods, and a winner was chosen at Wentworth on December 15, 2014. The students are   currently working on building their project this semester and plan to have the prototype completed this month.

“Methods National Applications Manager Jim VanBuskirk and I sit on an Industrial Professional Advisory Committee (IPAC) for Wentworth’s interdisciplinary engineering program,” says Brittany Speroni, a mechanical engineer at Methods. “It was at one of these IPAC meetings that we learned about the students’ need to work on a ‘real’ industry application for their capstone project. We thought the infeed system would be an excellent project for the engineering students and were glad to sponsor the project.”

Ms. Speroni and Methods Electrical Engineer Guy Parenteau visited Wentworth to present students with the specifications for a new infeed system. Three groups of three to four students each decided to choose Methods for their senior capstone project. The students then visited Methods for a facility tour and an overview of Methods’ technology capabilities. They also received details on the type of infeed solution Methods was seeking.

The groups spent one semester working on their designs and then presented their ideas to Methods Automation Manager John Lucier, Mr. VanBuskirk, and other Methods automation and electrical engineers. After the presentations, Methods had the students write up evaluations of each group, deciding who they felt did the best job. Methods management then reviewed the projects and selected a winner. Both Methods and the students chose the same group.

“We are so pleased that our students at Wentworth have had the opportunity to work with Methods,” says Douglas Dow, Wentworth professor of electronics. “Through this capstone sponsorship, the students were able to work on real-world problems and solutions and gain valuable experience by having the opportunity to apply what they’ve been learning the past five years.”