Mar 6, 2018 | Atlanta, GA
The problem was clear: How do you bundle large, oddly shaped loads like those made from steel and do it in a way that won’t cause injuries?
Currently the steel industry and others bundle products for shipping using razor-sharp steel strapping. However, that strapping can cut workers on their arms, hands and faces, said Hannah Larson, who graduated in December with a degree in mechanical engineering.
Polyester woven strapping would be a safer and stronger solution, but the material was designed to work on flat services. The challenge became how to apply this strapping to tension loads that have round or irregular shapes, said Michael Bailey, who also graduated in December with a degree in mechanical engineering.
The answer is Tensionr, a tool designed to safely tension woven polyester strapping around objects regardless of shape or size.
The device, developed by Bailey, Larson and three other recent mechanical engineering graduates, is one of six competing for the InVenture Prize, Georgia Tech’s annual invention competition. Winners will be announced March 14.
The other team members are: Austin Forgey from McDonough; Lauren Perrine from Potomac, Md.; and Brandon Will from Circle Pines, Minn.
The group won best mechanical engineering team during the 2017 Capstone Expo. The project was then called Blankity Blank and the sponsor was Skyline Steel.
“While we’ve all graduated we realized the scale of this problem goes beyond just one industry and that it’s important to have a safer option,” said Larson, who is from Roswell. “We believe we have a unique solution for any application.”
Tensionr will protect more than 20 million workers at their jobs every day, the team said. And by pairing a differential with a dual barrel tensioning system, Tensionr evenly supplies the necessary amount of tension for safer product handling, they said.
The group formed a company, Dual Strapping Solutions LLC, and are continuing to fine tune the design.
“We’re all strong mechanical engineers but we have a large learning curve with the entrepreneurial side,” said Bailey, who is from Canton. “The InVenture Prize is an additional catalyst to jumpstart our business.”