As we move into March, the pace of our senior design project for AREVA has increased. We are entering the home stretch of our final semester of college and are finalizing the design of the NAF pellet transfer cart so that we can begin the procurement and fabrication process.
During our last meeting with AREVA engineers, we were provided great assistance and insight for what to consider during the fabrication and assembly of the cart. With this constructive critique, we modified the cart design to simplify the fabrication and assembly process.
We received contact information for vendors and a purchase requisition template to help us select a fabricator. As we sent local fabricators the specs for fabricating the shelf body frame, the fabricators came back with input on design modifications to make the welding and fabrication even easier.
An important improvement that has been a top priority since the beginning of this project was to reduce the chances of a back injury from moving the pellet boats between the conveyor belt and the cart. An additional component called the boat bridge eliminates this problem. We made a modification to the boat bridge system (see image below) that will allow safer, more convenient loading. This enables the operator to place the bridge on the shelf system and directly transfer the boats and pellets from the conveyor belt to the shelf. The modification also reduced the weight of the bridge significantly and made fabrication much simpler.
Our next step is meeting with AREVA engineers to discuss scheduling specific closing dates. Once we present our final design and receive confirmation, we will start the purchasing and fabrication process.