Two industrial engineering graduate students from the University of New Haven have designed a three-dimensional simulation model that will help improve efficiency and profits at Consolidated Industries Inc., a producer of forged parts for military and private aircraft located in Cheshire, Conn. The virtual-reality modeling program developed by the students will help the company improve output by identifying bottlenecks and help it keep pace with developments in the rapidly evolving aerospace industry.

The Consolidated project grew out of a graduate class in industrial engineering designed to bring an application beyond the classroom and theory. The students involved with the project were Omer Kizilcik and Krishna Ogety, both 24. In order to make the modeling program useful, they had to dig deep into the details of company operations and spent a month gathering data about staff, workflow, process times and equipment, among other considerations.

Through the use of steam hammers and presses, Consolidated forges a variety of metals, including aluminum, titanium, stainless steel, alloy steels and magnesium. Recently, a die-cast aluminum part destined for a Sikorsky helicopter was heated to 800°F, then shaped by a 2,500-ton press. Flashing was removed from the part using a band saw before it was inspected for blemishes or defects. All these, as well as subsequent processes, were replicated in the model devised by Kizilcik and Ogety using Delmia's Quest software.