When products are recovered from end-of-life, specifications such as material
requirements and dimensional tolerances are often unavailable. The Sustainable
Design Team reconstructs missing product information to enable the
Design for Remanufacture
As a center with strong ties to both remanufacturing and resource recovery
sectors, SMS is uniquely positioned to act as a conduit for information between
the design and remanufacturing phases of product life. The Sustainable Design
Team researches remanufacturing processes to determine how products would best
be designed for the most efficient and profitable recovery of resources.
The Logistics and Policy Team characterizes and quantifies a product’s
effects on the environment throughout its life cycle. The Team uses life-cycle
analysis, an analytical process that considers environmental impact as an
integral part of the true costs of product development. Through strategic
implementation of product reuse, remanufacture and recycling, the Logistics and
Policy Team can greatly improve a company’s overall environmental quality.
Structural and Material Analysis
The Structural and Material Analysis Team analyzes how the physical and
mechanical properties of components “age” or change with use.
Product designers need this information to know how a product will function
throughout its lifetime; remanufacturers need it to successfully restore used
products. The Structural and Material Analysis Team delivers comprehensive
information on structures and materials for effective recovery, even through
increases in product complexity.
Finite Element Analysis
The Structural and Material Analysis Team utilizes a host of finite element techniques
to determine the displacement, strain and stress of a complex structure or
component under a load. These techniques validate potential design or
remanufacturing options by determining if a complex structure or component will
meet specific performance characteristics.
The Structural and Material Analysis Team uses failure analysis to determine
how a component or system ages during service. Aging can be a result of wear,
corrosion, tensile or compressive stress overload, or fatigue. Understanding
the aging mechanisms enables the Team to determine the optimum remanufacturing
option for a particular component or system. It also provides valuable
information on design changes that can increase a component or system’s
performance or life.
The Structural and Material Analysis Team uses welding procedures to repair
cracks in a variety of materials. The physical appearance, hardness or tensile
properties of the repaired crack region is identical to or actually improved
over the base metal. The Team achieves these results not only by selecting the
proper weld wire but also by optimizing the welding process through designing
and running designs of experiments.
Intelligent Testing and Diagnostics
The Intelligent Testing and Diagnostics Team’s goal is to advance the
tools and equipment used to quantify the health of components and assemblies.
The Team uses advanced diagnostic skills and tools to measure the performance
of remanufactured products as well as measure aging characteristics to predict
a product’s remaining useful life. The tools developed and implemented by
the Intelligent Testing and Diagnostics Team are helping to optimize processes
in many sectors of the remanufacturing industry.
The Intelligent Testing and Diagnostics Team develops mathematical models for
accelerated-aging test protocols, which are used to artificially wear a
component on assembly. Typically, cycle times are sped up or environmental
factors, such as increased operating temperature, are added. The protocols
allow the engineers to create, with a high degree of confidence, statistical
models of a component’s performance.
SA uses signals from a unit to diagnose its failure and, in many
cases, make a prediction of remaining life. SA activities at SMS include:
• Design and implementation of protocols to collect data on aging
• Analysis of data to identify characteristics that change with time
• Generation of statistical models relating characteristics to usage
Test Fixture Design
The Intelligent Testing and Diagnostics Team develops and builds test
fixtures to assist a variety of remanufacturing sectors. A test fixture
includes a mechanical fixture to hold and work a component, instruments to
measure parameters such as vibration, and software to collect, analyze and
display the results. They are complicated to develop, costly to implement
and require significant scientific know-how. The Team works with companies and agencies to access RIT's technical capabilities to efficiently and economically develop and implement these devices.
Clean Technologies and Environmental Compliance
The Clean Technologies Team is working to make system operations more
sustainable—economically and environmentally. Implementing alternative
cleaning technologies can be challenging and time consuming for small and
medium-sized businesses. The Clean Technologies Team works with a variety of firms to apply their research and technical knowledge to develop and implement
accessible and environmentally responsible technologies.
The Clean Technologies Team works to reduce environmental impact
of cleaning operations. They have helped numerous companies make the switch to
high-performing, low-impact cleaning technologies. With the Best Practices
Cleaning Assessment, the Clean Technologies Team provides companies with
targeted recommendations. The Clean Technologies Team can:
• Evaluate and troubleshoot existing cleaning operations
• Test and evaluate alternative, environmentally preferable equipment,
chemistries and media
• Provide recommendations for cleaning system improvements
• Conduct cleanliness and material property testing (e.g., hardness)
• Conduct cost analysis
• Assist in specification and implementation of equipment
• Assist technology developers in equipment, chemistry and media
• Track technology performance data
For companies seeking to reduce the hazards of painting, coating, and metal
plating operations, the Clean Technologies Team offers targeted technical
assistance. The team uses their Best Practices Surface Finishing Assessment to
give companies recommendations for improving their surface finishing processes.