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CSUC manufacturing students win 2006 manufacturing challenge.

California State Univ. Chico Manufacturing Technology students won the Grand Prize in the Society of Manufacturing Engineers Westec Manufacturing Challenge at the Los Angeles Convention Center on March 27 for a cast aluminum transmission adapter case. The 356 T6 aluminum sand cast adapter case enables an owner of a Toyota 4-wheel drive pickup truck to install dual transfer cases inline with an automatic transmission for rock crawling and other extreme off-road competitions.

This is CSUC's third Grand Prize win in the past four years. Chico also won the top university award in 1987, 1988, 1992, 1993, 1995 and 1998.

The transmission adapter case was built for Skyway Transmissions, Paradise, Calif., as a commercial product. The students took Skyway's design and rapid prototyped the pattern applying draft, shrinkage and machining allowance. The students also added the company's name, address and logo. The adapter case was sand cast using 356 aluminum that was then heat treated to T6. This required building a quenching tank with circulating heated water.

Next came the designing and building of a four-position progressive fixture for CNC machining the castings. The students also developed an innovative method of inspecting the part's accuracy by programming the robots in the robotics lab to inspect the size and location of the holes and other machined features.

The project was started in late October and completed as an extracurricular activity on the students' own time. Twenty students and three professors made the trip to Westec this year.

The students on the Westec team are enrolled in the CSU Chico Bachelor of Science in Manufacturing Technology program, which includes a minor in production and operations management.

The team presenters were Chris St. John, Calvin Leiker, Kevin Stein, Kevin Maynard, Phil Linscheid and Chris Marks. An additional 15 students made primary contributions to the project. They were Scott Baldwin, Steven Boruta, Neal Cameron, Jamie Cogorno, Jeff Ferreira, Stephen Foute, Kyle Greer, David Hill, Ben Hoover, David Lyman, Orian Price, Erik Rott, Paul Ting, Zack Waddle and Alba Zenil. Leonard Fallscheer is the SME Student Chapter Faculty Advisor.
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Title Annotation:North America
Publication:Modern Casting
Date:May 1, 2006
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