College Students Use KNF Pumps to Fuel Racing Success

Wisconsin undergraduates have a need for speed.

Students from the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) have been getting in the competitive spirit in an effort to create and race the most energy-efficient cars.

Consisting of undergraduates ranging from freshmen through juniors, these students are part of their university’s Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) branch. As the organization operates solely on outside funding, KNF has sponsored these adventurous and ambitious students in their racing endeavors through the donation of needed liquid diaphragm pumps.

Joe Pechstein and team pose for a photo at the Shell Eco-marathon flanked by their vehicles.

Overseen by project manager Joe Pechstein, a junior, the group participates in two annual events: the Shell Eco-marathon, which took place in April 2017, and the SAE Supermileage competition, which took place in June 2017. Continuing an almost ten-year tradition of entering these selective competitions, Pechstein supervises the building of two vehicles for the former competition and one vehicle for the latter.

The mechanical engineering major recognizes the challenges involved, stating that the race is “a test of the driver’s skill, the design’s endurance, and the design itself.” With all design and testing done by students, the competitions represent the future of motor engineering.

To get the highest fuel economy possible while still meeting lap times, these twenty-five students use KNF’s NF 1.25 RPDC for their fuel system. These compact and powerful KNF pumps are used for engine dynamometer testing which typically determines the torque or power characteristics of a machine under test. Though dynamometers can also be used for standard emissions testing cycles such as those defined by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. The vehicle itself is a three-wheeled device with optimal aerodynamic features. Convenient in its small and lightweight design, the KNF pumps allow for an appropriate pressure range and high enough fuel output to guarantee full speed ahead.

A photo of the course which is usually a motor racing track or a closed off city street.

How did these students fare in the competitions? At the Shell Eco-marathon, the gasoline vehicle came in 14th place out of 30 at 588 mpg, while the electric vehicle came in 9th place out of 17 at 120 mi/kwh. Having made their mark in the gasoline vehicle category, Pechstein admits that “we have been steadily improving our fuel economy over the past three years.” In the SuperMileage competition, they came in 8th place out of 16 at 442 mpg, and an impressive 3rd place in their design report. Of KNF’s contribution, Pechstein adds that “the pumps were ideal” in helping to reach the finish line.

The team at KNF offers our congratulations to MSOE’s Society of Automotive Engineers! We know they have a bright future ahead.

The Bear, The Pump, and Three Forks: A Tale of Sabotage Near Godfather Lake

From the time KNF was founded, “durability” has been one of the most distinguishing traits of our pumps. We feel a strong sense of pride whenever our customers use adjectives such as: “strong”, “enduring”, and “tough” when describing our products. That said, there are rare occurrences when a KNF pump succumbs to unusually extreme punishment. Not too long ago, a KNF customer, Brian Jarrell, informed us of one such example.

Brian is the Recreation Director at The Lodge and Spa at Three Forks Ranch, a luxury Resort and Spa approximately 40 miles north of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The sprawling, 50,000-acre resort offers beautiful landscapes, scenic mountain vistas, various year-round activities, and upscale amenities. As part of his duties, Brian is responsible for maintaining ponds and other natural features across the huge property. To that end, many bodies of water around The Lodge, including nearby Godfather Lake, are equipped with solar-powered aeration systems. These aeration systems employ KNF N 828 gas pumps to inject air into the water for improved clarity and quality. When Brian needed help with his system’s pump, he called KNF and told us his wild story of a shaggy saboteur.

A visitor admires the wildlife & natural beauty of Three Forks Ranch (photo via threeforksranch.com)

One day, while making his usual checks around the property, Brian approached a pond to find that the nearby aeration system was completely silent. As he examined the control box, it became evident that the protective cover had been completely ripped off. According to Brian, a large black bear – 7 feet tall and 450 pounds – had destroyed the cover protecting the aeration system’s electronic components. As bad luck would have it, heavy snow soon fell over the exposed electrical components of the system, short-circuiting one of the two KNF pumps inside.

These circumstances are certainly extraordinary, and even frightening considering that a huge bear was probably lurking nearby while Brian was examining the damage from only a few hours earlier. However, according to Brian, scenarios involving wild animals are nothing unusual in his line of work. “We have had animals destroy our property in the past – problems with elk and bear chewing wires.” Brian calmly elaborated, “They are typically searching for food when they stumble onto a piece of equipment and become very curious. This bear may have been bored and was likely looking for something to do.” Well it certainly appears that this bear found something to do! On the bright side, this was the very first incident involving aeration systems on the property. Prior to the curious and destructive bear, both system and pump were “running just as strong as when they were originally installed” in 2004.

The suspect: Ursus americanus aka American Black Bear

The suspected saboteur: Ursus americanus (aka American Black Bear)

After finding the mauled machine, Brian soon contacted a KNF Technical Sales representative and, after a “painless and easy” conversation, he was on his way to receiving a replacement pump. When asked about the required repairs, Brian seemed almost relieved, “The whole thing was taken care of within a matter of hours. I am very appreciative of KNF”. In fact, he rates his experience with KNF a 10 out of 10. We’re glad to know that Brian’s experience was  positive, and we hope that the local black bear population seeks entertainment elsewhere in the wilds of Colorado.

Former MythBuster Delivers Keynote at Pacific Design & Manufacturing Event

Former MythBuster Jamie Hyneman at Pacific Design & Manufacturing

Jamie Hyneman, former MythBuster, speaking at Pacific Design & Manufacturing event (source: Pinterest)

This year, guests of the recently re-branded Pacific Design and Manufacturing event received a special treat as Jamie Hyneman – the famed, former co-host of The Discovery Channel’s popular television series, “MythBusters” – delivered the keynote speech. During his speech, Mr. Hyneman communicated the value of hard work, and also referenced the importance of constant improvement through his own love of tinkering. The honorary Doctor of Engineering stated, “Science isn’t done by people in lab coats. It is done by people that want to do a good job at figuring something out”. With talk of science and tinkering, it is no surprise that the 2017 keynote speaker was able to connect with his audience. After all, there were thousands of engineers in attendance of the annual conference, most of whom share a love of tinkering.

Though Jamie Hyneman has since moved on from Myth Busters, and The Discovery Channel has stopped production of new episodes, it has not stopped millions of fans from holding the show in high regard for its creative and courageous (often crazy) engineering. For example, many at KNF recall an episode that first aired on July 12, 2006 titled, “Crimes and Myth-Demeanors (part 1)“. During the episode, the crew attempt to debunk robbery and break-in scenarios so often depicted in Hollywood movies. Things get interesting when Jamie Hyneman and co-host Adam Savage begin development of their own gadgets: super-magnets, and suction cups, respectively. The peculiar devices were custom-engineered to assist the show hosts with an air duct climb).

KNF N 828 vacuum pump

KNF N 828 vacuum pump

What makes this episode particularly memorable to KNF USA associates is the vacuum source used for Adam’s suction cups – a KNF N 828 Diaphragm Vacuum Pump! The lightweight, oil-free KNF N 828 vacuum pump performed admirably to spec, pumping to 100 mbar of absolute vacuum via the suction cups on Adam’s hands and feet. However, in the end, both co-hosts were unable to climb the flimsy air duct without considerable noise, thus being anything but stealthy. Another Myth Busted. Later in the episode, Adam used his KNF N 828 vacuum pump powered suction cup rig to climb eight stories up the outside of a glass building before becoming too exhausted to continue. But not before further demonstrating the power of the KNF N 828 diaphragm vacuum pump!

Pumping Above Our Weight Class

NMP 03 Micro Gas Pump
The newly introduced ultra-small, portable device pump — weighing only 11g and measuring just 12.9 mm x 24.2 mm — delivers very consistent, linear transfer up to 500 mL/min.

In addition to ultra-small size and wide flow rate range, the NMP 03 offers a long service life, outstanding efficiency, leak tightness, and quiet, low-vibration operation. Typical portable device applications, for which the NMP 03 micro gas pump is very well suited, include: emissions measurement and gas analyzers; patient monitoring; capnography; negative pressure wound therapy; ion-mobility spectrometry (trace detection); drugs and explosives detection; handheld pipette/dosing; and print-head meniscus control.

The NMP 03 offers a wide operating temperature range of -20 °C – +60 °C (environment and gas) thereby making it well-suited for outdoor use and applications involving hot or cold gases. Plus, like other KNF micro gas pumps, the new NMP 03 features a modular system which can be configured to match your specific requirements.

Visit www.knfusa.com/NMP03 to learn more.

Liquid Waste Handling in Clinical Diagnostics and Lab Equipment

A new Application Note from KNF Neuberger, Inc. details effective methods for collecting, and evacuating liquid waste.

oem_application_noteWhen determining how to transfer liquid waste within an analyzer, design engineers must examine many factors. Though several methods will work, only one provides optimized system performance and lifetime.

Read more >>

 

KNF Exhibiting at the World’s Largest Printing Equipment Show

reprographic printingAs a trusted partner to many of the world’s leading industrial reprographic printer manufacturers, KNF is preparing to showcase its latest product developments at Drupa 2016. Considered the world’s largest printing equipment exhibition, Drupa is open every three years in Dusseldorf, Germany. This year, the show runs from May 31st through June 10th, and KNF is excited to be a part of it.

At the show, KNF will be exhibiting its latest product developments including liquid pumps with flow rates from microLiters/min to 12 L/min+ and gas pumps with flow rates from microLiters to 300 L/min. Additionally, KNF offers a wide selection of pumps that can be optimized for specific needs through engineer-to-engineer collaboration. Optional materials, motor types, fluid connections and other modifications are available to optimize performance, life, and cost at any quantity.

KNF liquid and gas pumps perform important ink handling tasks, including the ink transfer to print heads, ink degassing, print head cleaning, vacuum generation for print head meniscus control, and ink circulation. From continuous inkjet to drop-on-demand, from large format printing to product barcoding, KNF has the pumps needed for high-quality, consistent printing.

Please plan to stop by our booth in Hall 4, booth B01 if you will be attending Drupa 2016. To learn more about KNF pumps for reprographic printing visit www.knfusa.com/reprographics or read our related Application Notes:

KNF Associates Discuss MedTech Pump Design Trends with MDDI

Pumps for Medical TechnologyThe following excerpt is from the MDDI article, “Pump Designs Flow Toward Smaller Sizes“.


As medical devices require smaller pumps that fulfill rigorous design requirements, the relationship between OEMs and suppliers is shifting.

A medical device that manages the movement of a gas or a fluid relies on a pump to carry out the application. Advances in technology enable pump suppliers to provide pumps capable of addressing increasingly complex medical device requirements. But industry pressures are also changing the nature of the relationship between OEMs and their suppliers.

At one time, medical device companies looked at suppliers simply as a way to outsource work and reduce costs, said Dave Vanderbeck, business development manager for Trenton, NJ-based KNF Neuberger. While suppliers can help OEMs reduce their costs, Vanderbeck increasingly now sees OEMs turning to their pump suppliers for design expertise.

Read the full article at MDDIonline.com >>