Developing New Applications for Active Vibration Dampening (Hutchinson/Barry Controls)
The Hutchinson/Barry Controls-Olin SCOPE team worked to develop an active vibration control system for hand-held construction equipment. Workers who use this equipment for extended periods of time are in danger of developing hand-arm vibration syndrome, a condition that can result in severe nerve damage. Decreasing construction equipment vibration will not only protect workers’ health but also save companies time, cost, and resources. Every current active vibration control system Barry Controls creates is highly specialized and time-consuming to develop and install. Barry Controls would like to move toward developing solutions that are more widely applicable, and therefore challenged the SCOPE team to create an active control system that is less specialized and more efficient to implement than previous Barry Controls systems. During the fall semester, the team identified market areas that could benefit from simple active control systems. After deciding to focus on construction equipment, the team devoted the spring semester to designing, prototyping, and testing their active control system on an electric breaker.