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Combining vintage, high-tech systems, CSULA team scores first place with custom pinball machine
AeroDef Manufacturing Challenge engages students in the real world of technology, manufacturing
Los Angeles, CA – With spinners, switches, targets, flippers, kickers and bumpers, Cal State L.A.’s Golden Eagle Pinball Machine won first place in the university division at the AeroDef Manufacturing Exhibition and Conference Manufacturing Challenge, an exciting hands-on competition to engage future generations in technology and manufacturing.
Beating out 11 other colleges and universities with their innovative concept, engineering skills and problem-solving abilities, the CSULA team members constructed a pinball machine out of a combination of materials, such as woods, plastics, composites and various metals. All components were modeled using high-end 3D parametric design software and then machined using manual and computer numerical-control methods. A series of electronic controllers for the lighting and scoring systems were also utilized in developing the pinball machine.
Under the direction of faculty adviser Jai Hong (Fullerton resident), associate professor of industrial technology, Cal State L.A.’s winning team includes industrial technology majors Vanessa Arana (Los Angeles resident), Blake Cortis (North Hollywood), Hernan Garcia (Huntington Park), Mark Hirami (San Gabriel), Steve Jimenez (Lynwood), Paul Katsumura (Los Angeles), Jose Padilla (Montebello) and Sandra Schreiner (Arcadia), along with mechanical engineering major John Morris (Monrovia resident) and technical staff member Chris Reid (Lakewood). The event was held recently at the Anaheim Convention Center.
Professor Hong explained, “The students faced real-life challenges during the project—from maintaining a budget, meeting deadlines and time constraints, to tackling mechanical and electrical problems. Much like in private industry, each team member had a distinct role in the project.”
For the competition, each part and process was thoroughly documented, tested, and reviewed for quality assurance. The pinball machine was developed to showcase its practical, lean manufacturing design, and its business model.
According to Hong, “To transform an outdated machine to something new and attractive, the team building the custom pinball machine applied vintage, mechanical and high-tech electrical systems that made it stand out from the rest. Congratulations to our students for their dedication, hard work and achievement!”
AeroDef Manufacturing Exhibition and Conference is a new Society of Manufacturing Engineers event providing manufacturing solutions for the unique needs of aerospace and defense manufactures. The conference also provides an opportunity for aerospace manufacturers to meet with manufacturing technology and process providers featuring innovative solutions to their industry challenges. The Manufacturing Challenge is a stimulating day for collegiate-level engineering and technology students to demonstrate the importance of connection between classroom lectures/labs and industrial applications.
For more information, call the Department of Technology at Cal State L.A., (323) 343-4550.
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