2012-2013 Academic Year

SUNY Maritime College

In its first year of existence, CREATE put into action two projects that increased productivity of workers and increased the number of job opportunities possible.

Under the supervision of Dr. Joe Levert from SUNY Maritime in Throggs Neck, New York, student teams identified efficiency issues that NYSID member agency, Goodwill Industries, Inc. was experiencing. At the end of their respective CREATE projects, the student teams were successful in the functional performance and durability requirements and beyond.


  1. Identified a problem with Goodwill's heat sealing machine (a machine used for shrink packaging - wrapping small parcels in polymer film which applies heat to shrink the film around the parcel):
         - Constructed with an obtrusive bar that prevented someone in a wheelchair from being able to fully access the machine efficiently and comfortably
  2. Identified the need for a new guide assembly:
          - Decrease the length an operator is required to reach across the machine, allowing for perfect product placement
  3. Aimed to make the machine both wheelchair accessible, and to redesign the machine settings allowing for perfect placement of the parcels:
         - Aid people with poor mobility and/or reach

* The team also created a detailed operation and maintenance manual in order to help ensure that the product would have a long life-span.


  1. Identified that Goodwill had vision impaired workers who used tagging guns to attach price tags to retail items such as clothing.
  2. Aspired to adapt the gun in order to:
         - Increase productivity of workers
         - Improve tagging safety
         - Perfect aiming accuracy
         - Extend the product's useful lifetime
  3. Developed the product in two different ways that alerted the worker as to whether or not there had been a jam in the device:
         - A vibration
         - An audible sound *(preferred)

Results: The student team was able to increase aiming accuracy by virtually 100% and double worker productivity, all while keeping the cost of each model at roughly $21.00.

* All observations and trials served to confirm the usability of the device for all workers.