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Mechanical systems

Mechanical systems are no less important than electronics to the IV Lab’s mission of improving safety and mobility. Housed within the University of Minnesota’s mechanical engineering department, the IV Lab’s engineers often work closely with the Minnesota Department of Transportation to develop new and improved mechanical systems for specialty vehicles and other applications.

Quick Edge

The Quick Edge system, which makes it easier and safer for maintenance technicians to replace worn cutting edges on snowplows, is one example of the mechanical systems developed by the IV Lab.

In current systems, cutting edges on snowplows are bolted to the plow blade with three or four fasteners. To ensure clear pavement plowing, substantial downward force is placed on the cutting edges, resulting in rapid wear and frequent replacement of the cutting edge. The process of changing cutting edges is time consuming, tedious, and exposes vehicle maintenance personnel to the risk of personal injury when changing the heavy cutting edges. The new system is designed with the objectives of reducing time and manpower required to change blade edges, and of decreasing the risk of injury as compared to the current labor-intensive bolting process.