Anthony Roggenbuck

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Enterprise Design Project    "The Revolutionary Receptacle"



 For my senior project, I am working in a small group to design, develop, and build a business plan around an automated trash receptacle. We are all in the Lear Entrepreneurial Certificate program, and our senior project differs from the standard senior project cycle in that we have to develop an enterprise around our product and build a complete business plan along with a prototype. The project is a culmination of two and a half semesters. We have performed a great deal of market research to generate a list of consumer needs. We used those needs to build a QFD and engineering specifications. We found that cleanliness, style, cost, and simplicity were of the utmost concerns of our consumers.

    The next step was to look at how we were going to meet those needs and we spent a great deal of energy looking at many different ways of accomplishing our pushbutton approach. We evaluated different methods of tying knots, adhesives, heat sealing, and a variety of other methods. A major problem with many of these methods is that they did not satisfy our engineering requirements, because they were either too costly or complex. We found ourselves stuck, and finally we came up with a system that used a zip tie and a custom mechanism to pull the zip tie closed. With this concept we were able to design a system that fully satisfies our engineering requirements.

    The team agreed that it was a good idea to design and build our receptacle from the ground up, which meant we needed to prototype the shell, build the mechanism, and construct the electrical circuit. We are currently in this phase and are working to complete the prototype by the end of March this year. At the end of last year, 2006, we competed for a grant through the school. The competition required us to create an engineering proposal, show the product has market value, and show that we have developed a workable solution. We were selected, along with four other teams, to give a presentation to selected faculty members. Our presentation went very well and we were awarded funds to build a prototype of our product.

    The mechanism shown below is our zip tie pulling mechanism that we designed and machined. Initial testing has shown that the puller is more than capable of delivering the pull we need. To power the mechanism we have deiced to go with a 50 RPM 12V gear motor, which results in a cycle time of approximately 9 seconds. The next step was to create the power supply and timing circuit to drive the motor. Rather than seek outside help, we felt that we would learn more if we just did it ourselves. To that end, we have been successful in creating the complete mechanism for sealing the bag.

    The next step was developing a shell to accommodate the mechanism. For this reason, a simple square or circular profile did not meet our needs. We went with a semi-elliptical shape that tapers back to a flat section to create room to mount the mechanism inside of the can. When we took our design to different blow molding, and injection molding companies we found that the cheapest we could get a prototype was around 6-8 thousand dollars. To get around that, we decided again to just do it ourselves. We built a wooden fixture that has essentially the shape of the can. Then we took a piece of plexi-glass and heated it up using a turbo heater and heat guns to form it around the fixture. We are still in the process of integrating all of the pieces together    

































Team Members:

Anthony Roggenbuck, Penelope Kotsonis, Danielle Lipson, Nathan Hinderer



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Copyright 2007 Anthony Roggenbuck