INTM Interprofessional Projects (IPROs)
Each year INTM facilitates several award-winning projects that allow students to work under the guidance of a faculty advisor to formulate solutions to real-world problems facing industrial companies and organizations. INTM faculty oversee an average of six IPROs each semester involving interdisciplinary groups of 10 to 12 students.The faculty also work directly with industrial clients to address pressing operational issues. Following are summaries of selected IPRO projects.
IPRO students working with INTM Faculty Advisor, Phil Lewis, are studying manufacturing production control issues at OMRON Automotive Electronics Inc., a Fortune 500 company with its North American headquarters in St. Charles, Illinois. OMRON is looking for solutions from IIT students to mitigate the risk of loss related to the movement of materials around the St. Charles plant.
This project helped OMRON reduce the lag time between the manufacturing process of parts for older model cars, and the production time for parts for brand new cars. The IPRO team observed the movement of parts in the plant to identify a problem: the two processes were sharing the same space on the factory floor. The students designed a prototype conveyor system for storage, and created kits containing everything needed to manufacture the older car parts. This saved time and created greater efficiency by providing a process for placing the necessary parts directly from the warehouse into the kits rather than resting in inventory until needed.
|The current IPRO team is helping OMRON improve their loss prevention strategy, focusing on lost worktime due to workplace injuries. The students collected data on workplace incidents and identified possible risk factors. They observed workers removing boxes of different sizes and weights from shelves and transporting them between assembly processes. They noted the layout of storage options, took samplings of the weights of the boxes, and created plans for better storage systems. They are preparing to present their solutions to OMRON management.|
Spotlight: Electrical Contractors Association at Soldier Field
The students in INTM Faculty Advisor, Dan Tomal's Spring 2013 IPRO are excited about this project because of its national scope. They have the opportunity to complete a green energy audit of Chicago’s Soldier Field parking facility, the only NFL stadium to be LEED-EB certified in the U.S.
Techno-Economic Analysis of Electrical Smart Grid Technology Solutions
This IPRO team is helping to provide energy improvements to the parking facility at Soldier Field. After completing their energy audit of the building's power & lighting systems, the team is designing a preliminary plan for an energy retrofit, including an implementation budget. The scope of their work was tailored for entry into the National Green Energy Challenge, a competition sponsored by the National Electrical Contractors' Association (NECA). Entrants from NECA student chapters from universities nationwide submit projects to NECA for review by a jury of contractors and industry partners. The judges look for “demonstrated ability to analyze particular electrical construction management problems” (source: necanet.org). The top three student teams are invited to make oral presentations at the annual NECA Convention in the Fall. In 2012, Dr. Tomal's students placed 8th out of 20 schools.
Click here to read descriptions of the INTM projects listed below:
- IPRO 304: Integration of Process Improvements
Sponsor: A. Finkl & Sons
Faculty: Will Maurer and Sheldon Mostovoy (MMAE)
IPRO 306: Improving a Global Supply Chain
Sponsor: Sloan Valve Co.
Faculty: John Caltagirone
IPRO 336: Implementing The Plant, Chicago's "Vertical Farm
Sponsor: The Plant/Chicago Sustainable Manufacturing Center
Faculty: Blake Davis
IPRO 340: Techno-Business Study of Alternative Uses of Brewers' Spent Grain
Sponsor: Rock Bottom Brewery
Faculty: Mitchell Dushay & Philip Lewis
IPRO 342: Technology and Market Assessment: Scrap Metal Recycling Products
Sponsor: United Scrap Metal
Faculty: Will Maurer
IPRO 346: Harvesting and Beneficial Use of Condensate from AC Systems
Sponsor: Penitair, Inc.
Faculty: Philip Lewis