• April 26, 2017 
    STEAM students problem solve for Universal Electric

    STEAM presentation Eight teams of Upper St. Clair and South Fayette high school students presented solutions to several real world challenges to leaders of the Universal Electric Corporation on Tuesday, April 25, 2017, at the company’s site in Canonsburg.

    Upper St. Clair students enrolled in the STEAM Innovation & Consulting course, taught by Mr. Fred Peskorski, technology education teacher, were tasked with providing solutions for the following issues:

    Packaging:  A considerable amount of labor and materials are currently used to package UEC’s products, from small parts to long extruded busway sections. Determine the products that have the greatest opportunity for improvement and propose new packaging solutions that provide a cost savings comprised of material and labor components.
    Injection molding:  UEC has dozens of injection molded components, which are currently produced by external suppliers. Perform an analysis on the viability of vertically integrating the components that provide the greatest advantage for insourcing.
    Supplier quality:  Incoming quality issues result in delays to the customer. Develop a process for supplier quality (qualifying the supplier, production parts approval process, vendor scorecard, vendor audits, etc.)
    Safety:  The first of the company's core values, and its number one priority is employee and customer safety. Develop the plan for a plant-wide safety program (define required trainings, supporting documentation, training execution and sign-offs, annual schedule, etc.). An alternative to this, and smaller in scope, would be to define a building evacuation plan.
    Mechanical testing fixture(s):  Determine the best solution for UEC to test and verify the mechanical aspects of a new busway design that meets UL 857 and IEC 60529 rated to IP65.

    Throughout an eight-week timeframe, students had the opportunity to visit the Universal Electric site and talk with engineers, managers and other corporate officials to better understand the problem and explore possible solutions.

    In addition to their STEAM teachers and classmates, students presented their solutions to an audience comprised of multiple engineers as well as the senior leadership of Universal Electric including Joel Ross, president and chief executive officer, and Steve Ross, chief operating officer. The Ross brothers are both graduates of Upper St. Clair High School.

    Participating students from Upper St. Clair included the following four teams:
    • Packaging Problem: Antonio Del Rossa, Sam Erlanger, Jordan Lieberman
    • Injection Molding: Ethan Bowman, Neale Misquitta and Maxwell Turwald
    • Busway Testing: Victor Dubbs, Abby Happ, Brian McGrady and CJ Stott
    • Supplier Quality Management: Johanna Chikuni, Mac Dominick and Patrick O’Neill 
    This year marks the third year that Upper St. Clair’s STEAM Innovation & Consulting course has partnered with area corporations to provide students with real world experiences in problem-based learning, collaboration and presentation development and delivery.

    This marks the first opportunity for Upper St. Clair to partner with Universal Electric Corporation. Other corporate partners have included EAFab Corporation and All Clad Metalcrafters LLC. Universal Electric Corporation manufactures customizable power distribution and monitoring systems.