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E-Z PLATE
Project Proposal
Prepared By: Tristan Martel, Simon Pellerin, Mike Scarth and Caitlyn Peddigrew
Date: February 7th, 2016
St. Francis Xavier University
Table of Contents
1. INTRODUCTION……………………………………………………………………………3
1.1 Identification of the Problem…………………………………………………………….3
2. LITERATURE REVIEW…………………………………………………………………….3
3. NEED FOR AN ENGINEERING SOLUTION……………………………………………...4
4. METHOD FOR SOLVING…………………………………………………………………..4
5. STAGES AND COMPONENTS……………………………………………………………..5
5.1 Gantt Chart……………………………………………………………………………….6
6. LIST OF REQUIRED RESOURCES………………………………………………………...7
7. FIGURES……………………………………………………………………………………..8
Figure 1.1……………………………………………………………………………………..8
Figure 1.2……………………………………………………………………………………..9
8. RESOURCES………………………………………………………………………………...10
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1. INTRODUCTION
1.1 Identification of the Design Problem
Group 9 has elected to engineer a solution to address the difficulty associated with
loading and unloading heavy plates from barbells, from a starting position on the ground.
Weightlifting plates have been designed to easily slide onto the collars of a barbell when it is
elevated on a rack. This design, however, makes loading and unloading barbells on the ground
difficult because the perimeter of the plate is subject to friction from the ground as the
weightlifter attempts to slide the plate onto the collar of the barbell. The simplest way of
avoiding this problem is to lift the partially loaded barbell off of the ground with one hand, while
simultaneously trying to slide additional plates (up to 45lbs each) onto the collar with the other.
This makeshift solution is itself a problem, as it is difficult to perform and produces risk for
injury. There are many exercises that require the bar to be loaded from the ground including the
deadlift, clean and jerk, and snatch. As these exercises become increasingly popular, this
inefficient loading process becomes a more prominent problem for athletes and fitness
enthusiasts alike. As a solution, barbell jacks have been used to raise the bar a few inches off the
ground during loading. However, jacks can be expensive, and most public gyms do not have
them. Gyms need an accessible and easy to use product to improve this experience for their
clients.
2. LITERATURE REVIEW
This problem has not gone unnoticed. It may not seem like a very minor problem to new
lifters, but for many people it is an everyday issue. Some attempts at solving the problem include
the Deadlift Jack and the Dead Wedge. Deadlift Jacks were created to raise loaded barbells a few
inches off the floor, but they are expensive and most public gyms do not have them. The Dead
Wedge was also created raise a loaded bar off the ground. It acts as a ramp that the weights can
be rolled onto in order to make the process easier.
These two solutions have proven to be effective, but no one has designed a plate that
could fix the problem before it begins. If the plate were designed properly, there would be no
problem.
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3. NEED FOR AN ENGINEERING SOLUTION
Before reading the following, always consult figure 1.1. From Olympic Lifters, to
average gym goers and professional athletes, people always have had to load barbells with plates
from the ground. The action of doing this is unfavorable for a few different reasons, their size
being the first obvious issue. All forty-five pound plates, which are the most common in use at
the gym, have the exact same diameter, along with all weights for different versions of “bumper
plates” used in Olympic lifting, which causes large problems in trying to put these plates on. Due
to all of the weights touching the ground, in putting these plates on, one has to lift up the entire
barbell and slide on the plate with their other hand. This is a difficult task involving high
unwanted levels of strain on the persons back and requires unusually high levels of finger
strength, for people are pinch lifting an entire plate. These actions are relatively hard to visualize
in ones mind, but become more apparent when seen in person as shown in the video that is
accompanied in the proposal and will also be linked to on the group website. The fitness industry
spends a great deal of money on getting quality plates when at a quality gym, and that is
something we are striving for, quality. The target audience is the people that are well invested
into their personal health and strength and wish to have a more enjoyable and efficient time at
the gym. We intend to accomplish our goal by approaching gyms that are in need of new weights
in their gym, including gyms that are being opened in the near future, old gyms that have worn
down plates and have realized that a new set is needed, any gym that is unsatisfied with their
current set and of course we aim to please the private sector of people with extensive home
gyms.
4. METHOD FOR SOLVING
Our methods in beginning to solve this problem begin on looking at how to re-engineer
the standard plate into something that can easily be placed onto the collar of a barbell without
needing a jack or bar ramp. The first method of approach was how to design the opening in
which the barbells collar sits, and many options were explored. The original design presented at
the individual proposals was a sliding pin mechanism and an enlarged hole for which a plate can
be dropped and slid onto the barbell collar instead of just having to slide it along the bar collar
(refer to figure 1.2). Another alternative explored was a collapsible spinning and locking
mechanism (figure 1.2) that was proposed in order to relinquish the issue faced with having to
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have a top and bottom orientation of the plate and ensured full symmetry. This alternative was
ultimately scrapped due to the complexity of the system and how difficult it would be to ensure
the strength and safety of the plate when locked into its static position. Criteria we are going to
need to meet in ensuring the success of our project include producing it at a low cost, ensuring its
safety, making it more efficient than the current system and more efficient than the alternatives
currently present on the market. Limitations that will have to be overcome are alike the
previously listed criteria, in that we need to overcome the safety problem and keep costs of
design and assembly low in order to be competitive.
5. STAGES AND COMPONENTS
The first stage of the Design Project consisted of multiple brainstorming sessions. During
these sessions, various problems were analyzed and possible solutions were discussed. The ideas
were narrowed down based on feasibility, complexity and general interest. Once a conclusion
was made on the design project, a meeting with Dr. Emeka Oguejiofor was scheduled to get the
design approved. A follow-up meeting with Paul Doiron of the AH Roy & Associates team was
scheduled who assisted in helping determine an approach to the design and the problems that
would need to be assessed. A brainstorm of possible designs for the remodeling of the weight
plates assisted in helping determine different ways the solution could be solved as well as which
designs would be most beneficial.
The initial stages will include doing the necessary research to determine which design
solution will be the most beneficial to the problem being addressed. This will include a meeting
with a machinist at STFX to discuss the materials and mechanics behind the designs. As a result,
the final design idea will be determined. Various factors will need to be taken into account, such
as the strength, weight, and durability. Part of this stage will also include analyzing costs,
benefits, and problems associated with the material. Determining these factors will help
eliminate certain materials that will not be adaptable to the design. Preceding these decisions,
calculations and testing can begin. Various factors need to be determined such as the correct
dimensions so as to achieve the proper weight and moment of inertia. Testing the various
materials to see if it is practical for the design will furthermore help improve the design as
adjustments may have to be made in order to maintain the standard sizes and weights of the
plates.
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Once the material is determined and the necessary calculations are done to determine the
dimensions of the plate, the building of the prototype can be undertaken. Depending on the
material and cost of building the plate a model prototype may be done to demonstrate the
mechanics behind the design achieved. As the prototype is being built adjustments may be made
if complications in the design occur and new strategies have to be developed.
The webpage for the project will be a regular component throughout the course of the
project as completed documents and drawings will be continuously updated. An official Progress
Report and Project Update will be done as the design develops and various changes are made. In
addition to this, a Gantt chart with also be regularly updated to help assist in maintaining order
and efficiency in completing the necessary tasks.
5.1 Gantt Chart
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6. LIST OF REQUIRED RESOURCES
The successful completion of this design project will require the use of various technical,
personal, financial, and material resources.
During the remainder of the initial design stage, there will be an immediate priority set
upon finalizing the physical form of our product. This will require decisions to be made with
regards to dimensions, materials, and the design of an effective locking mechanism. The
technical background and creative license of the group members will be the primary resource
accessed here, but will also reflect feedback received from Dr. Oguejiofor, Mr. Doiron, and the
Machinist. This will require the arranging of a meeting with the Machinist to discuss material
choices, construction of a prototype, and any other comments he may have.
There will also be technical (software) resources employed throughout the design
process. AutoCAD will be used extensively throughout to produce detailed orthographic
drawings as a primary means of communicating the details of the product. Pictorial renderings
generated from a 3D model may also be produced in addition to the orthographic drawings to
provide a more accessible depiction of the plate design. Microsoft Word will be used for the
production of all reports and other written submissions. Microsoft Excel will be used as required
for managing data and generating tables and other related graphics (i.e. Gantt charts).
Additionally, KompoZer will be used for producing and refining a web page to that will host all
of our submissions and supporting media as they are completed.
Following the completion of the initial design and consultation, the design group has
tentatively planned to produce a prototype to test and display in the final presentation.
Production of this prototype will require at least one additional meeting with the Machinist to
discuss construction details, material availability, and production costs. There will be a financial
commitment associated with the production of the prototype that will have to be met by the
group.
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7. FIGURES
Figure 1.1
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Figure 1.2
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8. RESOURCES
International Powerlifting Federation- Technical Rules Book.
http://www.powerlifting-ipf.com/fileadmin/ipf/data/rules/technicalrules/english/IPF_Technical_Rules_Book_2016__1_.pdf
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