Momentum - April 2019 - 4

STUDENT
FEATURE

GENERATION

RELIABILITY OVERHAUL:

A LESSON IN RESILIENCE

A chain issue sets back University of Minnesota team at Formula SAE
Michigan 2018, but it's a different story at the subsequent FSAE competition.
AS THE PIT CREW WAS WHEELING the racecar through
the fuel station and onto the track, the rest of the team
was with the team truck, trying to find a parking spot
that would give us the best vantage from which to
watch the cars race by.
The team was preparing to watch the Formula SAE
Michigan 2018 Endurance Event-the particular event
that is worth 30% of the entire competition and that also
has a high Did Not Finish rate. While it was still nerveracking-how could it not be?-we weren't particularly
worried. We, the University of Minnesota Gopher

The Go-No Go gauge designed by the University of Minnesota's
UMN Gopher Motorsports team to measure chain stretch.

4 April 2019

Motorsports team, had finished the Endurance Event for the past four
years and we were one of the top teams. Nothing could faze us.
Except, perhaps, a chain break during the event that could make or
break our competition. With seven laps down, six more to go, our car
just stopped. The team, wedged into that truck bed, went silent. We
watched as our driver revved the engine, trying to resurrect the car.
With no success, we watched painfully as our car was towed back to
the pit.
We collectively spent 40,000 hours on this car to not even finish
the Endurance Event. I thought the team was going to be angry, place
blame, sit alone, and manifest in failure. Resilience had never been our
strong suit.
But we didn't. We were relieved that the competition was over,
celebrating our successful events, celebrating the points we did get. And
the team looked toward Lincoln, Neb., where the last of the season's two
Formula SAE competitions would be held, as an opportunity to fix what
was broken and to achieve what we failed to achieve at FSAE Michigan.
With all the exhilaration in Michigan, we certainly learned a thing or
two. Our car could whip-the performance was where we wanted it. The
reliability of our components was where we failed, so that was where
we focused all our attention for the month we had before the Lincoln
competition.
We first took a look at our chain. As the reliability concern at ground
zero, this was the first challenge we had to look at. It was discovered
that our master link had broken. We began by reviewing our procedures
to ensure proper chain installation and documented every step. We
then decided to measure the chain and discovered we did not have
a device to determine chain stretch, so our team made one. Finding
the industry-standard acceptable stretch to be 3%, and looking at

MOMENTUM



Momentum - April 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Momentum - April 2019

Momentum - April 2019
Contents
A better MOMENTUM
Briefs
Reliability overhaul: a lesson in resilience
Turbulence on the track
Full circle
Lap simulation tool shows the way
Baja SAE technical inspection
VW’s MEB platform: a modularity enabler
The F-22 Raptor gets its first metallic 3D-printed part
SAE 101: WCX 2019
Moon shot as metaphor for autonomous vehicle technology
DOSSIER: Greg Sawvelle
Momentum - April 2019 - Momentum - April 2019
Momentum - April 2019 - Cover2
Momentum - April 2019 - Contents
Momentum - April 2019 - A better MOMENTUM
Momentum - April 2019 - Briefs
Momentum - April 2019 - Reliability overhaul: a lesson in resilience
Momentum - April 2019 - 5
Momentum - April 2019 - Turbulence on the track
Momentum - April 2019 - 7
Momentum - April 2019 - Full circle
Momentum - April 2019 - 9
Momentum - April 2019 - Lap simulation tool shows the way
Momentum - April 2019 - 11
Momentum - April 2019 - Baja SAE technical inspection
Momentum - April 2019 - VW’s MEB platform: a modularity enabler
Momentum - April 2019 - The F-22 Raptor gets its first metallic 3D-printed part
Momentum - April 2019 - SAE 101: WCX 2019
Momentum - April 2019 - Moon shot as metaphor for autonomous vehicle technology
Momentum - April 2019 - 17
Momentum - April 2019 - DOSSIER: Greg Sawvelle
Momentum - April 2019 - 19
Momentum - April 2019 - 20
Momentum - April 2019 - Cover3
Momentum - April 2019 - Cover4
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