Faculty Advisor

Norton, Robert L.


This project improved the function of a cam-driven station on an assembly machine at the sponsoring company. The station consisted of three systems working in conjunction with each other to remove excess material from an indexing conveyor. Before this redesign, the station had been experiencing reliability problems resulting in unprofitable down time. The goal of this project was to improve the reliability of the station by reducing the vibrations present in the system. Vibration was reduced by redesigning two cams, two shafts, and adding an air cylinder to remove play in a linkage. The baseline for analysis was established through dynamic modeling, finite element analysis, and experimental data collected on the machine. New designs for cams, shafts, and air cylinder were manufactured and installed. Tests of the new design showed a reduction of impacts and vibrations of between 55 and 60% as compared to the original design. The redesigned parts have been left on the production machine to accumulate long-term data on their improved function and reliability.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

January 2008


Mechanical Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project