Students develop innovative designs for Isuzu

2019-06-12 06:00
NMU mechatronics students working on one of their projects. From left are Johannes Ormos, Johannes Keil and Philipp Duffner.       Photo:SUPPLIED

NMU mechatronics students working on one of their projects. From left are Johannes Ormos, Johannes Keil and Philipp Duffner. Photo:SUPPLIED

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

FINDING innovative solutions in the manufacturing environment is one of the key objectives of Isuzu Motors South Africa’s sponsorship of the Nelson Mandela University Chair in Mechatronics.

The chair, headed by Professor Igor Gorlach, facilitates engineering projects between the NMU mechatronics department and Isuzu.

Gorlach said it is important to expose mechatronics students to the real industrial world, so that they can be better prepared for the final-year project.

The students are tasked to find real solutions that improve the manufacturing processes.

One such example is the universal trolleys which are used in the new truck assembly line at Isuzu’s Struandale plant in Port Elizabeth, and which were conceptually designed by senior mechatronics students.

The universal trolley project is one of six innovative projects that the students have developed for Isuzu, over the past two years.

Isuzu corporate communications manager, Gishma Johnson, said the company supports the chair to ensure an enhanced skills base in the industry through research and the development of unique and innovative solutions.

“As a solutions-driven company, we are conscious about giving young people the opportunity to invent, create and innovate,” Johnson said.

At the beginning of each academic year, new projects are identified in consultation with the engineering and production departments of Isuzu.

Projects are aligned to the work covered in the various subjects at undergraduate level and assigned in groups to third-year and final-year students.

In final-year, the projects are perfected over the period of a year, whereas the third-year students do a half year project.

Gorlach said the programme offers valuable practical experience by exposing them to real-life industry problems and professional expertise.

“We are grateful to Isuzu for continuing to support our programme as it is in the best interest of our students to collaborate with industry.

“Interaction with industry is also required for our accreditation by the Engineering Council,” said Gorlach.

The collaboration between the mechatronics engineering students and Isuzu often results in the implementation of these projects in the factory, sometimes in a redesigned, modified or adapted format,” said Gorlach.

In 2018, the students designed a reconfigurable platform to reduce the number of trolleys at the Isuzu production facility. The design was implemented for all types of truck cabins on the new line at the Struandale plant in 2019, said Gorlach.

Other student projects included the design of a device for loading fuel tanks at the Isuzu truck assembly line, the design of a torquing station for automatic transmissions for Isuzu bakkies, as well as developing a method to handle truck chassis.

Some of these projects are being tested at the plant for future consideration. Furthermore, the Isuzu merit awards ceremony takes place every year where the best project, best assignment and top students in each academic year receive cash prizes and trophies. The Isuzu Merit Awards are also a valuable accolade to place on their curriculum vitae when the students are considered for employment, once they have graduated.

“Our students are in high demand in the workplace – locally and overseas. The practical component of solving challenges in a production or engineering environment, really adds to the level of students who graduate,” said Gorlach.

The mechatronics programme at Nelson Mandela University is the first and only university type engineering degree (BEng) offered in the Eastern Cape.

NEXT ON NEWS24X

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.