Fontaine Modification
666395951953f666af6fab6f Fontaine Uncc Seat Team Final

UNCC engineering students complete seat removal device for Fontaine

June 7, 2024
The engineering students worked on the device, designed for Freightliner MD 114SD and M2 trucks, over the last year. The final prototype will be produced for use across Fontaine facilities

Senior engineering students from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC) W.S. Lee College of Engineering partnered with Charlotte-based Fontaine Modification over the last year to develop a device that will improve efficiency when removing seats from Freightliner MD 114SD and M2 trucks as they are converted for use as car carriers.

 The project was part of the college’s Senior Design Program, which brings together students and industrial partners to tackle real-world engineering projects over the students’ final two semesters. Each design group works to develop a solution and manufacture a prototype device aimed at factory deployment.

Read more: Fontaine Modification continues effort to develop young engineers

 “Fontaine has participated in the Senior Design Program for several years, and it is always so interesting to see what the students come up with,” said Tyler Thomas, Fontaine Modification mechatronics engineer and one of the team advisors. “They approach challenges with a fresh perspective. This year’s team did a great job developing an effective design for us, and we’re looking forward to getting it into production.”

 The team of UNCC seniors Hank Doan, Grayson Ledford, Dorian Pallas, Alex Phan, and Benjamin Rizza developed and prototyped a device that quickly and easily removes seats from truck cabs after the truck roofs have been removed. The device then places the seats on the trucks’ frame rails while additional work is performed to prepare the vehicles for use as auto carriers. Using the device will make the seat-removal process more ergonomic and efficient for Fontaine Modification workers.

 Now that the project is complete, Fontaine has taken the team’s final prototype and design documentation in-house to optimize it, and then will produce the equipment for use across its facilities that perform the car carrier modification.

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