Eric Olander Shoots a Catapult and Assembles a Wooden Car at Master Lock's NASC at Jackson Hole, WY

Posted by on

The last day we went through two training sessions on manufacturing by Master Lock team members.

The first session a group of suppliers had a goal of shooting a ball with a catapult twelve feet plus or minus six inches. We had three variables, the ball (a sponge ball and a golf wiffle ball), the launching angle (a protractor device was built on the catapult for measuring the angle) and the point where the catapult arm stopped after the arm released. A runner band was used as the springing device. You can see me on the right side of the picture helping to hold the catapult for back fire. Fortunately, we had three engineers in our group so we were taking the military approach in firing a mortar. Our goal was to find what variable had the largest effect on the distance. We first used the sponge ball and tried changing arm stop position. After two tries with the arm position we got it close, but it was too far. Next, we  worked on the launch angle finding that a 5-10 degree for the launch arm gave us our range and 8-9 degrees was the best angle. The last variable was the type of ball. We all thought the wiffle ball would fly less. We kept the same settings on the catapult and the golf whiffle ball was in range! Therefore, the launch angle had the largest affect on the distance.

The next event was to assemble a wooden car with four wheels, four wooden axles, and four disk brakes. We had six work stations and one person who transported everything. During the first ten minutes, we only assembled three cars because of the rules of manufacturing that were given to us. I worked station three, assembling the wheels, axles, and disk brakes to the wooden car. I had to unassembled the three components and re-assemble them together.  We lost a lot of time not being efficient. Together we worked on developing a new process and our rules. We tried it again and we assembled fifty-two cars in ten minutes!