This year, an innovation process team was formed at MacLean Maynard to solve several inherent problems with the use of engine exhaust V-Band Clamps that contain T-Bolts.
The most significant problem was with the T-Bolt design itself. T-Bolts are difficult to manufacture to customer specifications, contribute to V-Band failures, and create several assembly obstacles. The team was tasked with finding an innovative solution to those issues.
The cross-functional team used the MacLean-Fogg innovation process to help find an innovative solution to the problem. The process includes five phases that are designed to engage the team in an approach to innovation.
While the process generated several innovative solutions, the one that the team deemed the best solution involved replacing the T-Bolt with a MacLean-Fogg Lockthread bolt. This innovative solution not only eliminated the need to use a T-Bolt, but also made the assembly of the exhaust clamp in the application much easier and more efficient. Additionally, the new design replaces a separate special lock nut with a self-aligning and self-contained barrel nut, which makes the clamp assembly a “one-piece” design.
The team plans to take the functional prototype to potential customers for presentation of the benefits and possible introduction into the market.
Congratulations to the entire team for a job well done!