Daniel Triplett’s applied engineering students at Wilkes Community College were challenged by Meadow Mills in Wilkesboro to find a solution to a design flaw with a grain mill, and they did it! The company, which has manufactured grain mills since 1902, needed an improvement to the internal movement of the mill to eliminate waste.
“Our first step was to evaluate the design flaw,” explained Triplett. “The floating/adjustable auger permitted whole grain to get past the intake end of the auger and be expelled through the drive end of the mill. Our assignment was to design a part to eliminate this bypass of grain. With our bright, eager and diverse six-man crew, we were up to the challenge.”
The students, Pascual Francisco, Austin McGann, Clint McGann, Timothy Smith and Justin Beck, designed a part to be used in the new and improved mills. The exact same part will be used to retrofit the current 600-plus mills already in use by customers.
Meadow Mills explained that the redesign could save companies labor time because there will not be a constant need to clean up spillage created from the milling process. The company said this will create a safer, cleaner work environment.