1. K-State home
  2. »AMI
  3. »News
  4. »Articles
  5. »2008

Advanced Manufacturing Institute

AMI Helps Great Bend Company Optimize Product

(Manhattan, Kan., November 19, 2008) – A Great Bend company that manufactures front-end loaders and backhoes has received assistance from the Advanced Manufacturing Institute at Kansas State University in predicting the performance of its loader brackets.

"When KMW Ltd. approached the Advanced Manufacturing Institute with the project, they had a 'build it and break it' philosophy. They went through eight prototypes and discovered this method of testing is very time consuming and expensive," said Taylor Jones, the institute's chief engineer.

According to Jones, the Advanced Manufacturing Institute used an integrated analysis and test procedure to optimize the loader bracket design. 

"Based on the results of our work, KMW was able to see the value in a finite element analysis-driven design approach and is now implementing this process in the company's engineering department," Jones said."Finite element analysis-driven design streamlines the design process, minimizes the need for iterative prototyping and testing, and ultimately allows you to get an optimal design to market faster and more cost effectively." 

Matt Campbell, a K-State graduate student in mechanical engineering, Overland Park, was the Advanced Manufacturing Institute student intern involved with the project.

"The KMW project included analysis, evaluation, and re-design of a loader bracket for a mid-size tractor. Using finite element analysis helped this process be more efficient. It was fascinating to analyze something that was not performing as desired, locate the problem spots and make design recommendations to fix the problem," Campbell said.

"AMI's design verification group's expertise in utilizing finite element analysis for design optimization has been tremendously beneficial to KMW as we develop new products," said Dave Schneider, vice president of KMW.