By Tim Leeds
Members of the Montana State University-Northern Society of Manufacturing Engineers Club returned from California with a first place trophy and prizes in March.
The SME club beat 12 other schools in the competition at the Western Tool and Exposition Conference, the nation's largest machining and manufacturing expo competition, a university press release said. Northern's competition at the event, held in the Los Angeles Convention Center on March 26, included Brigham Young University, Arizona State University and San Diego State University. SME won certificates and software, as well as the first place trophy.
"I think what set MSU-Northern apart from the competition was their plan to take their project from paper to plastic.'" SME member Charles Fremin of Marlow, Okla. said in the release. "This means that they started with an idea and went through all aspects of the manufacturing process: design, prototype, market research, mass production, and packaging."
Fremin said Northern's project was a "revo-driver, which is a bent shaft screwdriver with an interchangeable end that spins in the handle for quick operation and an adaptor that fits hex shank screwdriver handles.
The SME members did the work on the project outside of scheduled classes, starting and completing the project in the spring semester. Other institutions at the competition had scheduled classes to do the projects in.
Other SME members participating with Fremin included Jason Summerfield of Libby, the club president; John Aulsebrook of South Africa; Sonja Aulsebrook of Havre; Dale Benjamin of Havre; Leslie Cheff of Ronan; Wayne Dancer of Wolf Point; Gina Dupler of Helena; Andrew Johnson of Nazlini, Ariz.; Jesse Jungst of Libby, and Byron Sirchia of South Africa.
Club advisors are Cameron Worstell, associate professor of metals technology, and Virgil Hawkinson, professor of metals technology.