Design for Optimal Quality and Manufacturing: Power Coupling in Automotive Seats

Design for Optimal Quality and Manufacturing: Power Coupling in Automotive Seats

The goal of the project is to completely redesign the power coupling system within our seats by replacing traditional bundled wires with a combination of quick snap power couplings and embedded systems. The students will provide the overall system design, a stepwise implementation plan, and a working prototype.   The scope of the project is large enough that students will not be able to design and produce embedded systems for all components. We envision some sort of modular snap together “building blocks” with embedded electrical traces designed specifically to ease assembly and reduce connection failures in the field.  Moving to embedded components would also allow the incorporation of switches and other components yielding more flexibility in design.  The components may be a combination of in-house designed and COTS (commercial off the shelf) items. If this can be accomplished in an efficient manner then quality, the overall system cost and timing to produce seats and vehicles can be reduced. This project is supported by engineers in Plymouth, Michigan.

More Information: 2017-JohnsonControls

Students who successfully match to this project team will be required to sign the following two documents in January 2017:

Student IP Agreement for this Project Team
Student Non-Disclosure Agreement for this Project Team
How to Apply

Project Features

  • Skill level All levels
  • Students 5-7
  • Course Substitutions EE MDE, Honors, AUTO 503, GAME 503, MFG 503, CE MDE, ECE Cognate
  • IP & NDA Required? Yes
  • Summer Opportunity Interview Guaranteed
  • Electrical Coupling Design (3 Students)

    Design of overall electrical system plan, creation/selection of “quick connect”, design / production of embedded components.

    • Likely Majors: CE, EE, ECE, ME
  • Design for Manufacturability (2-3 Students)

    Mechanical Design for manufacturability.

    • Likely Majors: ME, ISD-AUTO, ISD-GAME, ISD-MFG, IOE

Faculty Mentor: Pei-Cheng Kupei
Associate Professor, EECS
Associate Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Associate Professor (courtesy), Applied Physics, Macromolecular Science and Engineering
More Information
Sponsor Mentor: Eric Michalak
UntitledNorth American Chief Engineer
With more than 22 years in the automotive industry (16 yrs at Johnson Controls), Eric Michalak started at Johnson Controls as a Design Engineer stationed at a JIT facility. He then moved into various roles where he contributed to advanced technologies. Now as North American Chief Engineer, he and his team have been charged to lead the advancement product development for North America. Eric holds many US and international patents including , the riACT head restraint , 1 touch Ingress/egress feature for third row and LEAP seating concept.
Sponsor Mentor: Deana Michalak
UntitledDeana Michalak has 28 years of automotive industry experience (23 yrs at Johnson Controls). Deana started as a Product Engineer on GM programs and advanced into a global leadership role for the company’s product subject matter experts. Recently, she has transitioned into the manufacturing functional area with a focus on cultivating a deeper knowledge base around Design for Assembly.
For More Information About This Sponsor, Visit Their Website (Johnson Controls).