P16718: Micropen workstation design


Project Summary Project Information

Micropen Technologies designs, develops, and manufacturers high precision resistors and medical devices. Micropen Medical, a sub-division of Micropen Technologies, specializes in the printing of critical functional materials, such as conductive electrodes, on medical devices. Hemostasis Probes are a product produced by Micropen Medical, which are made from alumina ceramic printed with gold-filled cermet conductive ink. In the Hemostasis Probe Cell, the current manufacturing process requires operators to use a small tool to perform a touch-up procedure on the printed components to ensure conductivity. This procedure requires a high degree of precision and is performed in a repetitive pattern where the operator adopts a number of potentially harmful postures during the process; this presents several ergonomic risk factors for the operator.

Project Objective
The objective of this project is to design and develop an improved workstation that eliminates or at least reduces the ergonomic risk factors for the operator, while meeting all the visualization and mechanical motion demands of the manufacturing process. The expected end result will include all design documents for the new design, a working prototype, a time study of the current and new process, as well as a technical paper and poster presented at ImagineRIT. The new system design will pose no significant changes to the current printing instrument, critical dimensions, or features on the system components. The intent of the system design is for the solution to remain within Micropen and only shared at their discretion.

Hemostasis Probe touch-up procedure

Hemostasis Probe touch-up procedure

Project Name
Micropen Workstation Design
Project Number
Start Term
End Term
Faculty Guide
John Kaemmerlen
Primary Customer
William Grande
585-624-2610 ext. 114
Gary Fino
585-624-2610 ext.117
Micropen Division

Team Members

Micropen Medical Team

Micropen Medical Team

Member Role Contact
Rachele Floeser Project Manager rlf7286@rit.edu
Alexander Langkamp Project Manager/Facilitator abl9744@rit.edu
Sabrina Caliri Lead Engineer sc9289@rit.edu
Nicholas Accuosti Engineer naa4922@rit.edu
Matt DePalo Engineer mmd8014@rit.edu
Michael Everett Engineer mge1209@rit.edu

MSD I Summary

Phase 1 - Problem Definition

During the Problem Definition phase the team achieved the following:

For more information about the project description view the Project Readiness Package.

Phase 2 - Systems Design

The vision for the system-level design phase was to develop alternative concept ideas to reduce ergonomic risks of the operators at Micropen. This was done through benchmarking, identifying the system level functional structure, developing selection criteria for concept alternatives, and using methods of detailed analysis. Benchmarking was performed to look into similar processes and products related to small-part manufacturing and ergonomic operator discomfort to develop concept designs. The functional decomposition was completed to show the steps involved in the process. Utilizing the concept selection diagram a morphological table was developed to review possible alternatives based on the requirements. To compare the alternatives generated a Pugh chart was created and possible solutions were evaluated to display the strongest potential concepts. Throughout the design process, risks, engineering requirements, and the house of quality were updated iteratively.

Phase 3 - Sub-Systems Design

During the subsystem level design phase the team continued to design ideas for the touch-up procedure and actuating the opener. The team also continued to develop ideas to ease ergonomic discomfort for the operator, some areas studied include back support, forearm support, as well as exercise and stretching options for the operator. In addition, the initial operator discomfort survey was distributed by Micropen to the operators involved in the process and initial operator feedback was received. The daily discomfort surveys are being put into action and are still awaiting feedback from Micropen.

Phase 4 - Preliminary Detailed Design

During the detailed design phase the team identified the relationships between the components of the system in greater depth. The team focused on researching options available for each component. The team also focused on identifying options for the decision making process for the suggested component solutions. An initial test plan for each component solution was created; the test plan will continue to be developed. Initial feedback was received from the operator surveys and this data was analyzed; the team will continue analysis when the remaining surveys are received. The team has continued visiting the Micropen site to gather information and feedback from the customers to help in the development of a final solution.

Phase 5 - Detailed Design

The team made a significant amount of progress towards determining final designs for our major subsystem level components. Much of the information that made this progress possible was customer feedback from various meetings which lead to a consensus on the direction to take for the design of the subsystems. Another major contribution to our progress for this phase was the completion of the team’s test plan for MSD II. This systematic breakdown of steps needed to further refine our design will be used as a guide for a large portion of the team’s tasks during MSD II. The group also made many significant strides in determining subsystem specifics for components such as the airflow control system, the part viewing camera system, the material handling system, and overall ergonomic improvements for the operator throughout the production process. All of this was done by following guiding principles while making design decisions; these include not increasing scrap rates and not decreasing process throughput.

MSD II Summary

Phase 6 - Build & Test Prep

Beginning MSD II, the team reviewed their lessons learned from MSD I and updated the preliminary MSD II project plan to move forward with the project. A daily meeting schedule has been created to manage the many components of the system and ensure clear communication amongst the team. The Test Plan has also been updated and a problem tracking template has been created to identify and manage project challenges during MSD II. Initial prototypes of the operator tooling designs have been created and will continue to be developed and modified in following phases. The BOM continues to be updated as the team determines specific purchasing information.

Phase 7 - Subsystem Build & Test

In the subsystem build and test phase the team focused on finalizing the designs for the operator tooling subsystem. Final designs were sent to Micropen for manufacture. Prototype WIP Fixtures were developed and physical prototypes were machined to begin testing. The Bill of Materials was finalized for each of the other subsystems as well to purchase materials. The team had meetings with Micropen to finish the Operator Tooling designs, and Spectra Services to review the camera and monitor the team plans to purchase.

Phase 8 - Integrated System Build & Test

During this phase, many products were received from Micropen to begin testing. Testing began with the Operator Tooling, as well as the WIP fixture prototypes. The testing was performed to analyze whether these subsystems met the engineering requirements laid out for them. Through initial testing, subsystem functionality was demonstrated for parts received. Additional development of the data collection tables was completed for subsystems. Some changes to the subsystems structure were made, the Arm and Elbow Support subsystem was combined with the Operator Tooling subsystem and further development of the Arm and Elbow Support subsystem was ended. Preliminary integration was discussed for some subsystems and for the complete system. Additionally, progress has been made on the course technical paper, this is concurrent with the development of the subsystems and integrated systems. In addition, a preliminary Imagine RIT poster has been created which will be updated as testing and system integration concludes.

Phase 9 - Integrated System Build & Test with Customer Demo

During this phase the team planned on integrating the complete system on-site and verifying the operation of the whole system. The team also planned on having an on-site presentation of the fully operating system. Although the team was unable to integrate on-site due to unexpected constraints on the customer side, the team continued to verify completeness and thoroughness of final deliverables. The team further developed the SolidWorks drawings for the adjustable WIP stand, the kink tooling, and the extended tooling connector for the operator tooling. In addition, the team worked to develop the technical paper and ImagineRIT poster.

Phase 10 - Customer Handoff & Final Project Documentation

During the final phase of MSD II, the team focused on completing all final deliverables for Micropen Medical. The team also aimed to complete the required tasks for ImagineRIT and the course. The team performed testing and was able to draw conclusions from the new workstation setup. The team worked with Micropen Medical to install the operator tooling and make minor install modifications to optimize the system for its intended design. Additionally, the camera and monitor system was installed in the workstation system. The stretch sheets were posted and the WIP preliminary prototype was used to show proof-of-concept. The team also finalized the ImagineRIT poster, developed the list of items to incorporate in the display for ImagineRIT, and were exhibitors during the ImagineRIT event. After ImagienRIT, the team finalized the format of the deliverables to Micropen. The team consolidated the WIP fixture tile and stand deliverables into the required parts to be machined. In addition, the team finalized the documentation around the proper seating position recommendations and finalized the SolidWorks drawings for the kink tooling recommendations. Documentation regarding the work schedule modification recommendations and the stretch and exercise sheets were composed into final deliverables. Regarding the course work, the team completed the technical paper and resubmitted the project poster for final print. The team developed a “Final Deliverables Checklist” to ensure Micropen and the RIT Senior Design team were in agreement about the items and knowledge being transferred during the conclusion of the project. This list described the deliverables Micropen expected the RIT MSD Team to provide at the closing of the project. Throughout the phase, the team worked to ensure each deliverable on the list was met. The customer handoff occurred on-site with Micropen, during this time the project deliverables were transferred to Micropen. The team went through the “Final Deliverables Checklist” with Micropen to ensure satisfaction and answer any questions.

Table of Contents


Project Management

Project Photos and Videos

Imagine RIT

Planning & Execution

Problem Definition

Systems Design

Subsystem Design

Preliminary Detailed Design

Detailed Design

Build & Test Prep

Subsystem Build & Test

Integrated System Build & Test

Integrated System Build & Test with Customer Demo

Customer Handoff & Final Project Documentation