We recently sponsored a contest among college and university students challenging them to design a working device that would be held together entirely by Rotor Clip retaining rings (non-threaded fasteners).
We called it the "Ring-A-Majig" contest and it was held in affiliation with ATMAE, the Association of Technology, Management and Applied Engineering. Four degreed engineers from Rotor Clip judged the entries and selected five finalists. Each presented their ideas via a Webex presentation to the judges, who then selected the first, second and third place winners.
Rotor Clip “Ring-A-Majig” contest winner (third place)--“Line Beam Engine”submitted by the team from East Carolina University, College of Engineering
and Technology.This design is an educational model of how a line beam engine functions kinematically transferring rotational movement to linear movement.
It is held together completely by retaining rings.
The winners and their designs were as follows: First Place, East Carolina University—M1A2Abrams Tank Tin Toy (Team members , James Powell, Joshua Adams, Josh Katsikis, Owais Siddiqui); Second Place, East Carolina University—Robot Torsen Differential (Team members, Andrew DiMeglio, Joshua Stevens, Connor Jones); Third Place--East Carolina University—Line Beam Engine (Team members, Jonathan Camden, Lawson Hawkins, Brian Pridgen. (Professor Ranjeet Agarawala served as advisor for all there ECU teams).
The winning team members will each receive a cash prize for their efforts.
The presentations afforded us the opportunity to see the students communicate their ideas in a clear and concise way. They explained their designs and how each would work (the devices had to display motion or movement, manual or powered like a ticking clock or a working toy). They also described the retaining rings they selected and why each particular type was chosen (taking up end play, reducing vibration, etc). In the end all five provided excellent technical rationales for the designs they chose.
This is at the core of Rotor Clip's affiliation with ATMAE; namely, to support education in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) through programs that expose students to “real world” situations and encourage them to pursue careers in manufacturing.
Based on our experience with the "Ring-A-Majig" contest, I am happy to report that the future of U.S. manufacturing and the technical skills to make it successful are in capable hands!
Joe Cappello is Director of Global Marketing for Rotor Clip Company.