Canadian students compete at international tractor engineering design competition

Mike Edwards   

News competition

McGill University team

Thomson Industries, a manufacturer of mechanical motion control solutions, sponsored the 22nd year of the International ¼ Scale Tractor Student Design Competition (IQS) of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE), donating US$15,000 worth of motion control products.

Several Canadian universities competed, including the University of Saskatchewan, McGill University, University of Laval and the University of Manitoba.

As a platinum sponsor, Thomson has supported the competition for the past five years by contributing motion control products to participating university teams, providing access to design engineers and having company representatives volunteer as judges at the event.

“Having a sponsor like Thomson involved in the competition has allowed teams to expand into designs that were previously out of reach,” said competition co-chair Kent Thoresen.

“Thomson’s comprehensive offering of linear motion products and the technical support they provide make the relationship very beneficial to the students.”

The IQS competition is focused around student teams’ ability to conceptualize, design, fabricate and test their designs, competing in an array of evaluations, including written technical reports and design reports judged by a panel, oral presentations, maneuverability, durability, and a traditional tractor pull. Each year, engineering students submit a new design and compete in a variety of events. This year, teams were given a 31-hp Briggs & Stratton engine and a set of Titan tires.

University of Saskatchewan Sled Dogs team using Thomson Electrak HD actuator for steering.

Jeremy Gong, key account and ROA regional sales manager at Thomson Industries, attended the event. “At this year’s competition, 11 schools used Thomson products in their designs,” he said. “In particular, their favorite was our Electrak HD actuator, which was selected for its balance of compact form, high force rating and integrated CAN bus control. It was used for steering applications as well as transmission belt tensioning, ballast systems and clutch actuation.”

Additionally, the Thomson Electrak Throttle actuator was widely selected and incorporated for its space-saving design, rugged housing and CAN bus controls. Overall, Thomson products were designed into more than 75 percent of the competing tractors.

Amongst the top five overall winners of the competition, Thomson contributed products to South Dakota State University (2nd Place) and Ohio State University (4th Place). Other teams incorporating Thomson components included North Dakota State University, Iowa State University and University of Manitoba.

“The event is a valuable educational experience for those involved with design work for the next generation of those types of products,” said Gong. “It’s a good way to give back and support them.”

The event took place May 30 – June 2, 2019, at the Expo Gardens Fairgrounds in Peoria, IL.

You can find out more information on Thomson’s products here: https://www.thomsonlinear.com/en/products. For more information on the competition, please visit: https://asabe.org/IQS.


Print this page


Stories continue below