Vehicle weighing systems designed by engineering students

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On the 21st and 22nd of February, Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) hosted the engineering competition “EBEC’14 Kaunas” for the eighth time. Driven on to become the best, the engineering students solved practical problems and worked on case studies devised by the Lithuania’s famous companies. It was the sixth time that FIMA, a long-standing partner of the event, has taken part in the competition.

According to representatives from the KTU-based student organisation “BEST Kaunas”, which hosts the competition, the event aims to promote closer cooperation between businesses and engineering students in the search for cutting-edge technological solutions.

This year engineers-to-be were challenged by FIMA, the leader in providing intelligent engineering solutions in the Baltic countries; Mars Lietuva, the information technologies provider NFQ and the electricity transmission system operator, LITGRID.

During the six years that FIMA has participated in the competition, it has become a tradition that the company invites students to put the knowledge they have acquired in their studies into practice. This year, the company’s specialists came up with a teamwork task called “Team Design”, which featured a real-life situation and was relevant when it came to addressing issues faced by Lithuania’s transport infrastructure. Students had to design a system for weighing, weight recording and visual imaging of vehicles in motion with the utmost precision. Divided into ten teams of four, the students had eight hours to complete the task.

“As is the case every year, we provided students with the opportunity to use the knowledge and skills they gained at the university in solving a problem from real life. Based on figures from the Lithuanian Road Directorate (LAKD), one in four commercial vehicles in Lithuania is over its legal weight limit. These heavy vehicles shorten a road’s life and increase maintenance costs, at the same time damaging the interests of those honest hauliers who observe the law. On top of that, travelling overweight extends a vehicle’s braking distance and reduces its manoeuvrability, compromising the safety of other road users,” FIMA’s Business Development Director and one of the panel members of EBEC’14 Kaunas, Vytautas Zinkevičius, pointed out. According to Mr Zinkevičius, Lithuania has not had a system to control and record the weight of all commercial vehicles until now with only random weight checks being carried out.

“To us as a company, it is important to contribute to the development of young professionals and as we frequently keep in touch with the most talented ones when looking for new employees. Every year the participants from the competition impress us with their inventiveness and the innovative way that they approach things. It is extremely encouraging to see so much young talent out there,” FIMA’s representative said.

FIMA’s specialists used a radio-controlled car to test the weighing systems designed by the teams. The team called “Koviniai ežiai” won the Team Design task.

Mars Lietuva, NFQ and LITGRID challenged the students with a case study that required some understanding of management and economics in addition to engineering knowledge. The “Ramiu veidu” team came first in solving this task.

EBEC’14 Kaunas is the first round of the international contest “European BEST Engineering Competition”. The next regional round will take place in the spring in Yakaterinburg (Russia). Winners of the play-offs in Kaunas will travel there to represent Lithuania. The last part of the contest – the finals – will run in the summer in Riga where all regional team winners will compete for the title of best European engineers. The European organisation for university technology students (BEST) unites 96 branches in 33 countries across Europe.

Photos from the event – EBEC 2014 foto