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Summer SAVY, Session 1 Day 4, Industrial Engineering (3rd – 4th)

Posted by on Thursday, June 13, 2024 in blog, SAVY.

Industrial Engineers and their Families,  

On our second to last day of this course, students are fully engaged in the Engineering Design Process and a simulation that requires all students to think and act like an industrial engineer!  

Students began the day by watching an explanation of how Lays Potato Chips are made. They identified subsystems within the Lays factory before being presented with their own problem – Malcom’s potato chip factory has an issue at the loading dock. Workers there are picking up bags of potatoes and carrying them to the loading dock. This action is leading to back pain for workers, increased product deficiencies (potatoes are being dropped everywhere!), and slowed production. Students must use all their industrial engineering prowess to create a subsystem that solves the problem. 

Students have been organized into small groups of engineering firms and taken ownership of their companies by creating their names, logos, missions, visions, and company commitments. Each firm is an expert in one type of simple machine. You might ask your engineer tonight about their firms; this is also a great time to reinforce or talk about habits of great teammates, like compromise, overcoming frustration, and self-advocacy.  

Firms are applying the Engineering Design Process to create a subsystem that moves a bag of potatoes 6 feet across the floor to a table representing the loading dock and lifts the bag onto the table. Today, we asked, imagined, planned, and started to create. Engineers have many tools to build their subsystems: cardboard, string, pulley wheels, cones, wiffle balls, dowels, and CDs to name a few! Tomorrow, the Engineering Design Process continues as we improve the subsystem, rebuild, and test to compare. Lifting the bag of potatoes by hand earned a total score (force + ergonomics) of 20, so that is the score to beat on Friday!  

Tonight you could ask your engineer: 

  • Review: What is a subsystem?  
  • Think Like an Industrial Engineer: Why do industrial engineers consider subsystems instead of the whole factory?  
  • Design: What simple machine are you an expert in? What’s the function of that machine?  Explain your subsystem to me. How does it solve the problem? How many simple machines did you use?