The L.S. Starrett Company has recently announced its sponsorship of the University of Michigan (U-M) in the North American Solar Challenge, 2009 Infinium. The sponsorship, which included a range of precision tools, represents Starrett’s continued commitment to provide innovative measuring solutions for unique challenges. Like the U-M precision solar car team, Starrett offers innovative custom solutions to address the needs of high precision manufacturing. In the challenge, teams from prestigious technical institutions design, build and race solar-powered cars in a cross-country event. This year Infinium will travel to Australia to race against the world’s top teams in October 2009.

 

The University’s solar car team has won five of the last nine first-place trophies in the challenge. To maintain this level of excellence, the team relies upon accuracy and precision in every step of the demanding process of engineering and building a vehicle powered solely by the sun. "Since we expect high precision and accuracy from our team, we also demand such precision accuracy from the tools we use," said Gabe Arroyo of the University of Michigan team. "Starrett has helped fill our precision tool needs by sponsoring our 2009 Infinium project."

 

“In addition to being renown for the quality and accuracy of our standard precision measuring tool products, Starrett is especially committed to providing innovative custom measurement and gaging solutions,” said Hardy Hamann, vice president of marketing and business development. “Starrett is honored to sponsor this effort, where custom solutions to challenges are fueled by the sun.”

 

Starrett donated a variety of precision tools to support the U-M team’s project, including micrometers and slide calipers to make measurements that ensure the car’s machined parts are within the appropriate tolerances. Starrett calipers were also used to check dimensions on aluminum, titanium, steel, aramid core and other demanding materials. A height gage was provided by Starrett to ensure precision results when checking appropriate sizes on larger parts. Starrett measuring tapes and steel rules were used to measure out lengths for consumables, measure curved surfaces, and check part lengths. To cut aramid core, carbon fiber, and other consumables for carbon fiber layups, Starrett hacksaws and utility knifes were utilized.