Skyndex Leveraged Project
It was amazing to have the resources of Sandia. The engineers at the Labs had the specific expertise in mechanical design that made our idea into a reality.
Through a leveraged NMSBA project, Jeff Collins brought together five companies seeking help on their new Skyndex skin fold caliper. The caliper, which is manufactured by Collins’ company, Welltec, Inc., measures body fat percentage.
The companies sought assistance with the caliper’s ergonomics and its increased measurement range. To work properly, the caliper jaws must maintain a consistent pressure throughout their entire range. The new caliper design measures more than twice the thickness of the old caliper, from an upper measurement of 55 mm with the old caliper, to a 130-mm capacity with the new caliper.
Keeping a consistent pressure throughout the increased range presents a unique engineering challenge. To tackle the challenge, NMSBA connected the companies with Clinton Hobart and his team of robotic experts at Sandia National Laboratories. The team members conducted analysis, solid modeling, and advanced simulations on the caliper. They then ran the caliper’s design through mechanical testing and evaluations, based on design improvements offered by the companies.
The companies received a final report detailing the Sandia team’s design and manufacturing suggestions, including making physical changes so that the caliper jaws face perpendicularly. Thanks to Sandia’s product design ideas and a new market, the companies expect to realize $3 million in benefits over the next five years.