Materials handling pendant

This project is from an undergraduate studio course that was sponsored by Columbus McKinnon Corporation, one of the largest manufacturers of commercial and industrial hoists. Pendants control the large hoists and are the main channel of interaction that workers have with the hoists, but they had not been improved or redesigned in decades. Because of this, the company sponsored a project with the Design Department at The Ohio State University in order to find ways to improve these devices.

We conducted multiple rounds of observations and walkthroughs of various manufacturing facilities to gain a better understanding of the different environments in which hoists are used and to see how they are used. We also conducted an on-site participatory design

workshop so that the workers could create and present their own ideal hoist control solutions by using a three-dimensional modeling toolkit.

Based on the previous activities, my team synthesized the research results into an opportunity map based on the needs, problems, and themes we uncovered. We then began to individually design solutions to meet those needs and solve the problems. By the end of the 10-week class, we each had developed both CAD models and tangible foam models of pendants, which were presented back to Columbus McKinnon. The concept that I created was selected to be further developed, and it has since been patented and redesigned for manufacturing.