BYU students help design better system for ‘torturing’ blenders

Posted at 10:11 PM, Jul 06, 2014
and last updated 2014-07-07 00:11:15-04

PROVO, Utah – Seniors in Brigham Young University’s manufacturing and mechanical engineering programs helped a local company improve the way they test their products.

The students have created a “torture chamber” that subjects Blendtec blenders to some rigorous ordeals.

Blendtec is based in Orem and has been making blenders for about 15 years. Their testing facility is nicknamed the “torture chamber” and inside blenders run continuously until many of them fail.

Commercial Engineer Manager Joey Jacobsen said the tests are critical.

“It’s important for us to have a test chamber like this where we can run them continuously and get a lot of cycles on there in a quick fashion,” Jacobsen said.

The old set up required about 30 minutes to assemble a test run. The new system, designed with the help of BYU students, allows eight blenders to run 24/7, and it requires a lot less maintenance. Jacobsen said ice and frozen fruit are the biggest dangers to a blender’s integrity, so he said they test the products with golf balls.

“We want to simulate that rough life that the blenders have to live through to make people smoothies each morning,” he said.

Matthew Duffield is a member of the team at BYU, and he said the project has been beneficial.

'We are excited that this project is coming to Blendtec and is something that is going to be useful to them, it is going to help them in their efforts, and is really going to continue as a viable, active product,” he said.

The new system was chosen after students came up with 50 to 60 prototypes and then narrowed their focus. The students then worked with Blendtec engineers to turn the selected prototype into a working system.