Team Vision for Problem Definition PhaseDuring the Problem Definition Phase, the group worked to understand the current conditions from multiple customer perspectives by:
- Interviewing the primary customers and key
stakeholders identified through the PRP.
- Reviewing and refining customer and engineering requirements.
- Understanding how important different metrics were to each customer and how these were interrelated through a House of Quality analysis.
- Developing use scenarios to better understand how various stakeholders will interact with the system.
- Researching and benchmarking the current state of the composting system against other systems available on the market.
- Performing an initial risk assessment and leveraging contingency planning to develop countermeasures.
Link to our Preliminary Project Plan.
Link to our Problem Statement Document.
Link to our Problem Summary Document.
Black Soldier Fly Larvae (BSFL) can be used to imprint a smaller carbon footprint than other composting alternatives, paralleling RIT’s vision of becoming carbon-neutral by 2030. On a weekly basis, 1.3 tons of food waste that is produced for human consumption within the RIT dining facilities is either being sent to landfills or off-campus to a biodigester. A composting system prototype has been developed to accommodate half a million larvae, but it is not able to be scaled from start-up to full operation due to an inability to manage the entire Black Soldier Fly (BSF) life cycle.
The goal of this project is to improve/redesign the BSFL composting system and its subcomponents as well as optimize the BSFL facility inside a passive house-style shed. The composting system should have the capability to fit inside a 8’x10’ shed, monitor and control the environmental conditions within the facility, reduce the energy required, and track emissions. The resulting design and prototype should adhere to the EPA P3 Grant requirements and meet campus guidelines.
|August 30, 2017||Shwe Sin Win & Sarah Brownell||Sponsor||Interview Q&A.|
|RIT||Potential Beneficiary of Composting|
|Black Soldier Fly Researchers||RIT Employees and Project Customers|
|Freshman Biology Group||Researcher Assistance|
|Black Soldier Flies||Means of Composting|
|EPA and MSD Sponsors||Financial Sponsor and Supporters|
|Inventors||Owners of Original Ideas|
|RIT Dining Services||Food Waste Provider|
|RIT Students and Peers||Other Users of Community Garden|
|MSD Team||The Developers|
|Local Farmers||Potential Beneficiary of Composting|
Understanding the needs associated with these stakeholders as well as how they are interrelated will be leveraged by the group in order to ensure that the project is both meaningful and effective when compared to the group’s original intentions and project scope.
Use CasesThe following use cases were considered by the team:
- Organic waste input, animal feed output
- Organic waste input, biodiesel output
- Organic waste input, Methane output
- Manure input, animal feed output
- Manure input, biodiesel output
- Manure input, Methane output
- Human waste input, animal feed output
- Human waste input, biodiesel output
- Human waste input, Methane output
A generalized workflow has been created to accommodate for the various scenarios listed above.
Project Goals and Key DeliverablesUpon completion of the project, the key stakeholders and customers can expect to receive:
- A passive shed built in the community garden
- A redesigned/improved reactor system that is:
- Cost-effective and environmentally friendly
- Usable by a single operator
- Able to ramp up in operation
- Able to monitor temperature and humidity
A working prototype of the system is expected to be completed by March of 2018.
|September 13, 2017||Dawn Carter||Biological Expert||Customer Requirements.|
|September 14, 2017||Sarah Brownell||Customer||Customer Requirements.|
|September 14, 2017||Shwe Sin Win||Technical Expert||Customer Requirements.|
From the three documents listed above, the team derived a general Customer Requirements table.
Link to our Customer Requirements Document.
Engineering Requirements (Metrics & Specifications)
Link to our Engineering Requirements
ConstraintsThe team was able to identify the following constraints:
- The resulting design and prototype should adhere to the EPA P3 Grant requirements and meet campus guidelines.
- Have initial prototype ready by March 2018 to present to EPA as well as thoroughly test and refine reactor.
- Fit in shed in RIT Community Garden.
House of Quality
A House of Quality analysis was performed on the requirements and constraints in order to better understand the relationship between the customer and engineering requirements. This also allowed the group to make sure that all customer needs had a matching metric to measure whether or not their need was met. This helps to ensure overall satisfaction with the final product. Through this analysis it was determined that the most important requirements were customer satisfaction, size of the composter, moisture content, and ability of the larvae to migrate properly.
Investigation related to design trade-offs was also started to think about compromises that the group is going to have to make in order to meet as many engineering requirements as possible. For example, as you strive for more accurate measurements of the climate conditions of the shed, this increases the cost of the system. Also, as you work to reduce the time to remove frass this also increases the number of operators needed to meet this time. More operators can get the task done faster but it is important that the system can still be easily operated with one person. One last tradeoff to keep in mind is that the more variable area footprint you create the more weight this will add to the system. A bigger system requires more materials to be built out of and contains more food waste which makes the system heavier.
Link to our House of Quality Document
Risk ManagementFrom the below matrix, it can be noted that the group recognizes risks of several types associated with the project at hand. Among the most important and potentially severe is item RTC1 (bottom layer removal system does not work or disturbs operation). It has been identified as an area for extra attention and contingency planning due to its higher probability of occurrence as well as its potential severity.
In addition to RTC1, the following items have been identified as requiring extra attention due to the risks that they pose:
- RRS6 (Budget/sponsorship is limited to current state and prevents purchasing)
- RRS2 (Availability of BSFL if can't breed properly)
- RTC7 (Migration ramp does not allow pupae migration to pupation site)
Countermeasures have also been ideated for all risks and will need to be considered moving forward into consequent project phases.
Link to our Risk Management Matrix Document as seen in the photo below.
Design Review Materials
Presentation Material & Handouts
Action ItemsTo be updated after review.
Plans for next phaseDuring the Systems Design Phase, the group plans to:
- Proceed with benchmarking against key parameters to ensure that the majority of design possibilities have been collected.
- Leverage a Functional Decomposition analysis to better understand the system’s core competencies and functions.
- Ideate basic, primary concepts for functional elements and systems-level designs.
- Investigate the feasibility and ergonomics of design
ideas through utilization of analytics, prototypes,
simulation, and benchmarking activities:
- Migration ramps for larvae
- Bottom layer removal system
- Micro-controller systems
- Compare design alternatives and refine scope of project through a Morph Table and Pugh's method of evaluation.
- Start a high level overview of our initial systems design concept and how they will flow together in a complete system.
- Extend our meetings with our additional stakeholders to gather more information about everyone’s wants/requirements (especially meeting with Dawn Carter to discuss fly breeding).
- Finalize budget with the assistance of the project’s guide and sponsors.
Our overall work breakdown plan for the Systems Design Phase.
Individual team member visions can be found in the Team and Individual Visions Document.