Imagine a doctor with patients, but no medical supplies. He has the knowledge to treat them, but nothing to do it with. The same goes for automotive engineers without the appropriate tools. The Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team at Virginia Tech doesn’t have to suffer that fate, thanks to its collaboration with Snap-on Tools.
Snap-on is a competition-level sponsor of the EcoCAR 2 competition. Its donations have played a big role in helping teams successfully put their designs into action. HEVT’s design includes seven lithium-ion battery modules. These electrical systems require the use of specific high-voltage tools.
“Snap-on has provided us with screwdrivers, sockets, socket wrenches and pliers,” said electrical subteam leader Brian Kelly, “basically everything we need to install these batteries safely. Knowing that we have this extra level of safety really makes us feel comfortable in working on the batteries.”
Snap-on has also given torque wrenches, welding masks, impact mallets, power drills and other various tools to HEVT. These tools are housed in a large and useful Snap-on toolbox. HEVT engineers are well equipped to build their series-parallel plug-in hybrid vehicle.
Another important resource HEVT utilized was Snap-on’s electronic part catalog. The catalog provides diagrams and specifications on thousands of automotive parts and components. HEVT’s mechanical subteam leader, Taylor Ashworth, compared using the EPC to “finding a needle in a haystack…with a high-powered magnet.”
In addition to donated tools and resources, HEVT has a wonderful collaborative relationship with Snap-on. Snap-on provides for EcoCAR 2 teams, and the team members provide vital information back to Snap-on. Two representatives visited Virginia Tech in January 2013 for a discussion on the effectiveness of their company’s contributions.
“Snap-on enjoys the collaboration with EcoCAR 2 teams, especially Virginia Tech,” said Snap-on Innovation Works general manager Samuel Bottum. ”We are very happy to have had a chance to come to Blacksburg and meet with the students, and get feedback and advice from them on the experience they are having with our tools and solutions.”
Snap-on is a leading global innovator, manufacturer and marketer of tools, equipment and system solutions. HEVT is thankful to have Snap-on’s support and guidance throughout its building process. Putting students together with industry-leaders like Snap-on is what makes the EcoCAR 2 competition such a success. HEVT looks forward to continued collaboration with Snap-on Tools.