Date of Award


Degree Type

Capstone Project

First Advisor

Bahram Nassersharif


ChemArt is a Rhode Island based photochemical etching company that specializes in manufacturing Christmas Ornaments. Each Christmas ornament is handmade in the United States, and at this point in time each and every ornament is packaged by hand as well. Packing the ornaments into their retail boxes is labor intensive and time consuming work. The facility is equipped to make more ornaments than package ornaments at any given time, so packaging becomes a bottleneck in their process. Currently ChemArt hires temporary employees to package the surplus Christmas ornaments that the full time staff cannot package. The project proposed by ChemArt was to create an automatic or semiautomatic packaging system for some or all of the ornaments that ChemArt produces.

During the first semester, the design team set forth to create an automated packaging system for ChemArts ornaments, focusing specifically on the White House ornaments. ChemArt is a custom design shop with customers ordering ornaments in quantities ranging from 250 ornaments to 950,000, with the White House being ChemArts largest customer. Because of the high volume of custom jobs that ChemArt does - making up sixty percent of the companys business - it is di cult to standardize a machine or system of machines. For this portion of the design project the team focuses on finding design solutions using the White House ornament packaging assembly, which makes up the remaining forty percent of ChemArts business.

The second semester was spent focusing specifically on creating adjustable mechanisms that perform the jobs of placing the lid on the conveyor, placing the insert into the box, placing a pamphlet in the box, then sealing the box with the lid. All of these steps were redesigned for adjustability in order to ensure that they would work with any of ChemArts ornament boxes. Once the adjustable designs were created in SolidWorks the team built them and tested them to ensure their adjustability and functionality within the system.

Team Pack-in-the-Boxs Capstone Design Project was a success. The team designed, built, tested, and accordingly modified a set of adjustable machines that accomplish the goal of packaging ChemArts Christmas ornaments. With minor modifications the modular apparatuses that the team created can be used with a conveyor system in ChemArts Lincoln, Rhode Island facilities on all of the types of boxes that they use to package the ornaments.