UPDATE: We are in the FINAL 4 – Wichita State University, Wichita , KS. May 9-13
National 5 Axis CNC Machining and Integrated Manufacturing Competition
Project MFG is a new education competition, in the manufacturing arena.
It is open to schools that teach CNC machining, 3d printing, and welding. They can be high school or college. Project MFG is now hitting its 3rd year.
The goal of the competition is to recreate a typical work day. A team of skilled students would be given a project and they had 16 hours to complete it. (2) eight hour days.
This would create a scenario that resembles modern manufacturing including time management, team work and budget.
Suncoast Technical College (STC), Sarasota, Fla. decided to sign up and create a team. We entered the Integrated Manufacturing Competition. This was a multi axis CNC machining, weld fabrication and assembly contest. We did not need a multi axis machine in round 1 qualifier or the latest and greatest welding equipment. A MIG (GMAW) welder would be sufficient.
We received our project in a box. It had all the materials and cutting tools needed for the job. It also have a playbook that spelled out the rules. The team could review the blueprints before the time clock was started. This is typical in a mfg. shop where the team needs to “quote” a job. It also involves deciding a process and inspection.
The STC team is comprised of 4 students. Tyler T is team manager. He is also the lead CNC machinist and quality control inspector. Tyler is a US Army veteran. Clint M is another CNC machinist on our team and he is at STC to learn a new trade. Chris H. is the team welder. Chris is also a veteran. Joshua L is our high school senior and lead Cad/Cam programmer. All students are trained CNC machinists and Cad/Cam programmers. We use Autodesk Fusion 360 for our CAD (computer aided design) and CAM (computer aided manufacturing).
On our first round, Project in a box, we stuck to the rules and did all that was needed within the 16 hour time span They also did it without any instructor help except in preparation and break times.
The whole STC machining class was also able to see the project and talk about what is required and how it replicates a typical work day. The first round kit was delivered back to the Project MFG team and passed ! Now we were on to the regionals (semi finals). Project MFG paid all expenses for 12 teams to meet, either at TCAT (Tennessee College of Advanced Technology) or SWIC (South West Illinois College). We chose SWIC and had only 4 weeks to prepare.
We Flew to St. Louis, Mo. on April 11. Our competition slot time was April 12-13. We used day 1 as prep and programing day. Day 2 was our turn in the machine shop – using an expensive Haas 5 axis CNC machine worth about $200,000. The same machines used in aerospace shops like Space -X .
There was one catch. we had NEVER used a 5 axis machine before.
We had trained and prepped the best we could.
It tuned out Great !!
We had NO mistakes and was the only team at SWIC to have completed the project so far.
Plus we were able to complete with 5 mins to spare and only 15 mins to get on the airport transit to head Home! It was quite an event
as or Friday April 15 – all 12 teams have competed and we are just awaiting the results.
If we qualify , It will be held at Wichita State College, Wichita, KS on May 9-13.
Update: WE QUALIFIED FOR FINAL 4!!
The Grand prize is $100,000 and also some nice bragging rights
and something for the team resume .