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Date of Submission

Fall 12-3-2020

Project Type

Senior Design


Industrial and Systems Engineering


Industrial and Systems Engineering

Committee Chair/First Advisor

Dr. Adeel Khalid


The client is a furniture production company located in Woodstock, GA. One of their products is a bench used for café style settings in a major United States bank chain. The client defined their requirements with a prioritized list of wants, needs, and problems that they encouraged us to accomplish. The number one item on their list is that the benches are heavy and awkward to turn, flip over, and otherwise manufacture and maneuver, a potential safety hazard for workers.

After reviewing several options for improving the company’s manufacturing process, Finite Element Analysis [FEA] was determined as the team’s highest impact method for assisting the company. FEA tests a product without costly machinery or numerous sample products, “[allowing] the removal of the indefiniteness before the manufacturing and making the decisions related to manufacturing in a more healthy and economical manner” (Koç, et al., 2011).

The AutoCAD model of the bench was acquired from the client. Slight alterations were then made to the model to make it capable of undergoing stress testing, including drilling holes and adding bolts and screws. Then, eight alternate models were made, ranging from using plywood instead of Birch wood to less supports and larger holes in the interior. Stress was applied in three evolving ways as the team strived for a realistic method: one point force in the center, two point forces on top of the interior support, and two pressures applied to a 144 square inch square.

One important note is that “the intention of performing FEA is not to eliminate the real tests but rather to reduce the time for a product to pass through the process” (Rundgren and Wörmke, 2011). Using Safety Factor as the primary metric for determining if a model is viable, the team came to the conclusion that either the baseline model or the baseline interior replaced with Plywood were the most viable options.