Institute for Research and Technology Transfer

Institute for Research and Technology Transfer

Farmingdale State College has established the Institute for Research and Technology Transfer (IRTT) in 1996 to support the economic growth of Long Island through the development and transfer of new technologies to the industrial community. The Institute provides local industries with research and development opportunity to improve productivity and cost effectiveness as well as offering ready access to modern automated manufacturing systems and faculty at the cutting edge of technology. The Institute enriches the education experience of the College and High School Students with real world applications in the areas of renewable energy, hydrogen fuel cells, bio-fuels, and electromechanical systems such as Robotics Systems, Computer Numerical Control (CNC), Stereo-lithography and CAD/CAM/CAE advanced systems.  The Institute for Research and Technology Transfer (IRTT) is an 8000 ft2 modern building that is equipped with the state of the art manufacturing and research systems that cover broad spectrum of technology and engineering as described in the following: 

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INSTITUTE GOALS & OBJECTIVES

  • Partnership with industry, academia and national laboratories to  develop new solutions for our local and national energy problem by searching for cost effective and durable alternative energy sources 
  •  Conduct collaborative applied research work to promote clean energy systems and broaden hydrogen applications as an energy carrier through the integration of renewable energy sources with fuel cells and hydrogen generation systems.
  •  Transfer newly developed technologies and disseminate current knowledge through online and in person meetings, workshops, and conferences.
  •  Promote energy sustainability and savings through the advancement of energy conservation and energy efficiency concepts as related to renewable and alternative sources of energy
  •  Act as a catalyst for internships and senior projects with local industry, as well as Master Degree projects in the near future.
  •  Demonstrate state-of-the-art clean energy systems and advanced automated cellular manufacturing setups to enhance industrial competitiveness.

SERVICES

The IRTT offers a variety of services which include:

  • Partnership with companies to help them obtain Research & Development funds and tap into Federal and State annual budgets of more than $1.2 Billion
  • Conduct collaborative applied research work geared to enhance productivity, quality and cost effectiveness, as well as solve operation and production problems
  • Demonstrate state-of-the-art automated technologies, such as the unmanned Computer Integrated Manufacturing System 
  • Provide local companies with access to modern equipment and outsourcing opportunities 
  • Coordinate internships and senior projects with the local industrial community
  • Disseminate current knowledge and new techniques through conferences, workshops, etc. 
  • Provide consultants to review a company's manufacturing processes and recommend necessary modifications to improve industrial competitiveness
  • Assist companies with lean manufacturing and ISO9000 certifications
  • Offer a wide array of workshops to sharpen the skills of the workforce and tailor the courses to fulfill industry needs

FACILITIES

The current facilities at the Institute for Research and Technology Transfer include a number of advanced systems that cover many engineering technology areas. The concepts of Computer Integrated Manufacturing and the introduction of automation on the manufacturing floor have proven to enhance industrial competitiveness and have made it possible for companies to become more profitable. These concepts are evident and well demonstrated by our Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) system which consists of the following machines:

  • CINCINNATI MILACRON TALON 208 Turning Center
  • CINCINNATI MILACRON SABRE 750 Vertical Machining Center
  • CINCINNATI MILACRON T3-7776 Industrial Robot
  • BROWN & SHARP PFxCell Coordinate Measuring Machine
  • PC Based CAD/ CAM/ CAE system
  • LUMONICS Laserdyne 140 MultiWave Laser Cutter
  • TAFA JP-5000 HP/HVOF Thermal Spray System
  • RAPID PROTOTYPING MACHINE
  • ADEPT3 4-Axis Scara Robot for Electronic assembly and packaging

The IRTT has developed an interdisciplinary educational module that links the course of linear algebra and robotics. The purpose of this project is to provide engineering, technology, and mathematics students with insightful understanding of the subject matter and promote student based learning style with less dependence on the instructor. 

Fuel Cell Development

Development of Metal Bipolar Plates for Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Power System

 The Center for Fuel Cell Development at the Institute for Research and Technology Transfer (IRTT) of the Farmingdale State University of New York has successfully developed new metal treated bipolar plates for PEM fuel cell power stacks. These power stacks are much safer, very robust and more economical than the graphite bipolar plates that are currently being developed nationwide. The metal bipolar plates provide at least a 12% saving in hydrogen consumption in comparison to graphite because of the lower ohmic resistance of metal.

Two patents have been filed to protect IRTTs exciting PEM fuel cell technology that includes a new reactants flow field, robust power stack designs, and innovative manufacturing techniques for efficient metal bipolar plates. A cost effective Membrane Electrode Assembly (MEA) and utilizing dry reactants is currently under development at the IRTT.

Various prototypes with power ranging from 2 W to 8 kW have been fabricated, assembled and tested at the IRTT as shown in Figure (1). The results of the lifetime testing conducted under variable loading showed no indication of power degradation due to metal corrosion for nearly 700 hours as depicted in Figure (2). This comparison of graphite and metal bipolar plates clearly demonstrates the viability and superiority of this novel technology.

Most bipolar plates are made of graphite composites that are known to be relatively expensive, highly brittle, and have low electric conductivity. Metal bipolar plates such as aluminum and zinc are less expensive, more robust, highly conductive and very easy to machine or die-cast. The lack of brittleness in metal bipolar plates permits the exertion of the necessary tightening torque on the stacks tie rods to completely prevent reactant gas leakage to the outside or around the Membrane Electrode Assembly (MEA) without any possibility of cracking, unlike graphite.

Moreover, the lower ohmic resistance of metal, attributable to both bulk and contact resistance, results in reducing the electric losses through heat energy. This enhances the PEM fuel cells overall performance as can be seen from the polarization and power density curves in Figure (3). This leads to considerable savings in hydrogen consumption and improved PEM fuel cells efficiency in comparison to graphite as exhibited in Figures (4) and (5).

This new plate technology, which utilizes highly conductive, corrosion-resistance, lightweight, inexpensive, and rigid metal, is proving to be viable and cost-effective as a primary or backup clean power source. The IRTTs new bipolar plate technology introduces higher levels of performance than graphite, and therefore it lends itself to both automotive and stationary applications better than graphite.

Robotics and Automation

Due to the continuous increase in the labor cost and the steady decrease in the prices of computers, high tech equipment and robotic systems, it became necessary for American industries to automate their production lines or relocate out of the country where labor cost is much cheaper. Therefore, our Engineering Technologies graduate must be trained with state-of-the-art technology in automated systems and possess the practical knowledge necessary to support the national economy and industrial competitiveness. Accordingly, the Institute for Research and Technology Transfer has embarked on the development of a full scale industrial automated robotic manufacturing island.

The automated manufacturing island consists of the following industrial systems:

  • Cincinnati Milacron Sabre 750 CNC Milling Machining Center
  • Cincinnati Milacron Talon 208 CNC Lathe, Turning Center
  • CINCINNATI MILACRON T3-7776 Industrial Robot
  • BROWN & SHARP PFxCell Coordinate Measuring Machine

In addition, IRTT hosts a Vision Guided Robotics System that consists of an Adept Three Industrial Robot with quick changer of the end of arm tooling and camera for circuit board assembly to locate the chips on the circuit board accurately and efficiently. The adept robot could replace 3 operators per shift, while enhancing productivity and reducing the cost per unit. 

FARO measurement ARM 

During November 8th 2015 open house at Lupton Hall Mechanical Engineering Technology center, Farmingdale was first college in Long Island NY to be able to present FARO Edge ScanArm HD. It is the leading technology in the world for reverse engineering used currently in the engineering and manufacturing industries. FARO Edge Scan Arm HD provides high accuracy 3D modeling scans that produce 560,000 points/sec delivering rapid point cloud that can be used to create 3D solid models.  The accuracy of FARO Edge Scan Arm is +-.001 of an inch, which is less than half of a human hair. Due to its portability the arm can be easily moved around Farmingdale Mechanical Engineering department for research and development. Thanks to FARO, Farmingdale College was able to explore and introduce the world leading technology during our open house. 

CAD/CAM & RAPID PROTOTYPING

CAD

AutoDesk Inventor and SolidWorks are the most commonly used CAD software in the industry. They are all state-of-the-art parametric based CAD software and they deliver the best value in 2D and 3D design for the manufacturing industry. The association between 3-D parametric models of parts, assemblies, and 2-D drawings is one of the best features on these programs. Modification in 3D parts, assemblies or 2D drawings will automatically update associated environment. This helps designers create design data more quickly, share design data more easily, and manage software more efficiently. This is an important feature that introduces high levels of performance in the engineering world of CAD/CAM/CAE, particularly when working on large assemblies.

AutoCAD Inventor Series

Autodesk Inventor can open AutoCAD, AutoCAD® Mechanical, Autodesk Mechanical Desktop DWG files and convert their files into 3D Autodesk Inventor files almost instantly. This also means you have all the functionality of AutoCAD and AutoCAD Mechanical Desktop and Autodesk Inventor right at your fingertips. 

SolidWorks

SolidWorks’s functions and environment is similar to Microsoft Windows such as drag-and-drop, point-and-click, and cut-and-paste. If you know Microsoft Windows, you’re well on your way to designing with SolidWorks. Familiarity with Windows functions allows you to become productive in hours, proficient within weeks. You will be able to create 3D models from existing 2D data with the best available transition tools. In addition you can enjoy unmatched design communication capabilities, including eDrawings, a breakthrough in sharing 2D and 3D product design information.

CAM

IRTT’s academic strength lies in the area of Computer-Aided Manufacturing. Currently IRTT utilizes user friendly Mastercam software which is one of the most common CAM software in the manufacturing technology. Also IRTT uses NCL, a specialized multi-axis machining software, to provide practical education to engineering technology students. Moreover IRTT supports the local economy by providing training to local industry personnel to sharpen their technical skills.

In addition, IRTT provides advanced levels of trainings in multi-axis machining with complex models such as structural aerospace parts turbomachinery products, power generation, tire molds and other machining applications requiring associativity and discreet tool control by using NCL.

Rapid Prototyping

Stratasys – Fused Deposition Modeling

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) System takes CAD solid models and builds the parts by depositing layers of molten thermoplastic materials to produce an accurate prototype.

The process begins with the input of the CAD data as STL format into the system. The Quickslice software converts the part into its layers, and the data are downloaded to the 3D modeler. A spool of 0.05-in. diameter thermoplastic filament, resembling wire, is fed to heated extruding head. The liquid thermoplastic filament is maintained at a temperature 10F above its solidification state prior to deposition. The material then solidifies in 0.1 second upon placement by the x-y controlled extruding head. The material is deposited onto a Styrofoam slab affixed on a computer-controlled platform that controls the z-axis.

This system requires no post-curing. Layer thickness ranges from 0.007 to 0.025in, and wall thickness ranges from 0.009 to 0.25 in. The materials used include machinable wax, a tough nylon-like material, and investment casting wax (all nontoxic). This system is capable of a one-minute material changeover. The process does not require elaborate supports and greatly complements the excellent CAD/CAM capability of the Institute for Research and Technology Transfer (IRTT).

The considerable strength of IRTT in the areas of CAD/CAM and Rapid prototyping is demonstrated by the effective help and support rendered by the Institute to more than 300 inventors and entrepreneurs since its inception in 1996.

Research Projects

The Institute for Research and Technology Transfer (IRTT) hosts research projects that can lead to commercial products. This could generate a number of well-paying job opportunities and enhance the economy on both the local and national levels. Once the technology is developed at IRTT and matured, it is transferred to industry for mass production and commercialization to bridge the gap between the laboratory environment and the actual industrial community. Projects currently under development at IRTT are summarized in the following.

  • Rapid Prototyping and Rapid Tooling
    • Metal Spray Molds
  • Automated Cellular Manufacturing Systems
  • System Integration and PLCs
  • Computer Numerical Simulations
    • Thermo-fluid and Heat Transfer Analysis
    • Two phase Flow
  • Rapid Fabrication of Customized Biocompatible Bone and Dental Implants

IRTT has recently established the Hydrogen Institute to encompass the following research activities.

  • Protons Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell
    • Bipolar Plates Design and Optimization
    • Membrane Electro Assembly (MEA) fabrication
    • Cost Effective Mass Production
  • Membraneless Fuel Cell
  • Wind Energy

Biomass Research

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Production of Ultra-Pure Hydrogen Driven from Biomass Waste to Power Hydrogen Fuel Cell and Produce Combined Heat and Power Recent concerns over the security and reliability of the world’s energy supply has caused a flux towards the research and development of renewable sources. A leading renewable source has been found in the biomass gasification of biological materials derived from organic matters such as wood chips, forest debris, and farm waste that are found in abundance in the USA. There is a very strong interest worldwide in the development of technologies that allow the coupling of biomass gasification and fuel cell systems to produce high-energy efficiency, clean environmental performance and near-zero greenhouse gas emissions. Biomass gasification is a process which produces synthesis gas (syngas) that contains 19% hydrogen and 20% carbon monoxide from organic matter.
Cleaning and purification methods are applied on the syngas to produce ultra-pure hydrogen derived from biomass waste synthesis gas (syngas). This will enable the use of biomass gasification to power Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell and generate relatively clean and cost effective Combined Heat and Power (CHP) that can potentially reduce our national dependence on foreign oil and the utility grid during peak hours. The system is also designed to power homes, electric vehicles and farms machinery located away from the grid.
Cleaning and purification methods are applied on the syngas to produce ultra-pure hydrogen derived from biomass waste synthesis gas (syngas). This will enable the use of biomass gasification to power Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell and generate relatively clean and cost effective Combined Heat and Power (CHP) that can potentially reduce our national dependence on foreign oil and the utility grid during peak hours. The system is also designed to power homes, electric vehicles and farms machinery located away from the grid.

Contact Us

Hazem Tawfik, Ph D, P.E., CMfgE.
Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering Technology
Director of the Institute for Research and Technology Transfer
Voice: 631-420-2243
Fax: 631-420-2194
hazem.tawfik@farmingdale.edu

DR. Jeff Hung
Research Engineer and Technical Specialist
Voice: 631-420-2243
Fax: 631-420-2194
Jeff.hung@farmingdale.edu

Institute for Research and Technology Transfer
Farmingdale State University of New York
Lupton Hall 
2350 Broadhollow Road.
Farmingdale, New York 11735-1021