Health Assessments

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Don’t be Caught Off Guard and Risk Unplanned Downtime

Health Assessments of your manufacturing systems including conveyors, process tooling and other equipment can be one of the best investments you make to minimize lost production and the costs associated with catastrophic failures. It can literally pay for itself many times over by allowing you to anticipate failures and plan remediation rather than react to it. Design Systems teams of trained engineering specialists can quickly assess your plant equipment for potential failures with no disruption to your production.

Real-World Applications

  • Assists shifting from reactive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
  • Decreased unplanned downtime and risk of unplanned maintenance.
  • Reduce repair costs.
  • Assessments are the first step in establishing a preventative maintenance program or optimizing an existing maintenance program.

The DSI Advantage

We have a specialized team that have conducted numerous health assessments on process equipment in different manufacturing and production facilities. Our equipment health assessments are completely unbiased, objective and independent. Since we do not sell any equipment, parts or maintenance our customers can have confidence in our findings. The final report we provide to you is easy to use by facility maintenance, engineering and management.

Program Management

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Delivering Projects On Budget, On Target, On Time….Every Time!

Controlling The Triple Constraint Triangle

“I want it Good, Fast and Cheap.” In response you likely have also heard “I can give you any two of those.”

Helping the customer understand and find the balance between these seemingly diametrically opposed constraints is the responsibility of Program Management. Checks and balances of these variables is constantly monitored and opportunities for improvement are identified.

Strategic Resources Team – Tailored To Your Project Strategy

Our Program Managers understand manufacturing and have broad knowledge and diverse skills. We identify needs to ensure that every area of the plan is covered and avoid unexpected complications and cost over-runs. Project success requires having the right subject matter experts and engineers. Our large staff allows us to draw from a pool of well qualified individuals.

Concept Through Commission

Program Management Services has been at our core since DSI’s inception in 1983. Through this time very robust tools and procedures have been developed for each program phase. Project phases may require more / less resources with differing skill sets. Having qualified personnel assures the transition from phase to phase continues seamlessly.

Industries Served

Program Management has been provided for Aerospace, Appliances, Defense, E-Commerce, Food & Beverage, Foundry, Heavy Equipment, Motor Vehicles, Paper, Parcel Handling, Pharmaceutical, Textile, Tire & Rubber and many others.

We Have Been Providing Our Cumulative & Progressive Application of Program Management Control Techniques For Decades With Proven Track Record.

Process Simulation Engineering

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Do It Right The First Time

The ability to visualize the dynamics of workstations and assess their efficiency in terms of cycle time and layout design is a critical component of Process Simulation. Integrating 2D and 3D Resources as well as human models in a virtual environment and simulating work assignments provides a unique advantage to visualize non-value added activities and man-machine interaction. Process Simulation also allows for the virtual verification and assessment of product assembly sequences and product-plant interferences, leading to accurate and timely virtual evaluations of manufacturing and assembly facility design and production.

Real-World Applications

  • Transfer Systems, Conveyor Systems, Assembly Sequence, Fixtures, Pallets, Robots
  • Static Work Stations, Kit Cells, Machine Load Stations
  • Dynamic Assembly Lines with Conveyors, Carriers, AGVs
  • Operator’s Point of View Analysis and Station Buy-offs Using VR/AR Application

The DSI Advantage

  • Determine if modifications to manual and automated stations will affect cycle time
  • Animated representation of your system to detect any interferences
  • Ability to test “what if?” scenarios
  • Design station platform heights to suit your environment requirements
  • MODAPTS IE time integration and man-machine interaction
    2D/3D layout / BIM integration and exporting capabilities
  • Point cloud integration
  • Line optimization by simulation to determine bottlenecks
  • Ergonomics and golden zone analysis for population anthropometry
  • Virtual safety risk assessment utilizing virtual / augmented reality technology and 3D station buy-offs prior to capital expenditures

Digital Twin Roadmap

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Path to Success

The future of manufacturing is Industry 4.0. Many companies are struggling to define what that means to their specific operations. Design Systems, Inc. can leverage our decades of experience in manufacturing and supply chain engineering to create a technology and operational roadmap to achieve desired goals for the Manufacturing Digital Twin.

Real-World Applications

  • Current state evaluation
  • Future state planning
  • Standards development
  • Digital Twin creation
  • Mentoring of client staff

Industry 4.0 is a PROCESS, not an end result

Facility Layout Optimization – Logistics / Supply Chain Management

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PROJECT

Facility Layout Optimization

CUSTOMER

Logistics / Supply Chain Management Company – Redford, MI

OVERVIEW

A Logistics / Supply chain management company had a problem and turned to Design Systems, Inc. for help. They needed assistance with creating an optimized facility that included optimal storage locations based on daily usage and delivery frequencies and also maintain their current manpower counts. They also needed help with determining areas of congestion and seeking opportunities for LEAN processes to increase throughput and minimize operator walk time in the facility.

APPROACH

Our team took a phase based approach that was planned out and agreed upon before arriving onsite. The objective was to create a baseline assessment of current dock and storage capacity levels and verify manpower requirements. Using the data provided by the customer, the DSI team was able to create the baseline requirements and a PFEP to drive the future state improvements for efficiency. Phase two took the findings from phase one and worked with the customer to develop the future state layout that optimized floor space and the business units footprint while increasing throughput without increasing manpower.

BOTTOM-LINE RESULTS:

  • 85% utilization efficiency
  • 31% reduction in travel distance
  • No manpower impact

Manufacturing Process and Material Flow – Aerospace and Mass Transit

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PROJECT

Manufacturing Process and Material Flow

CUSTOMER

Aerospace and Mass Transit Component Manufacturer

OVERVIEW

Our Process Optimization Team was engaged as a partner and extension to the customer team to identify and improve efficiencies through facility consolidations, manufacturing process and material flow improvements.

GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

  • Redesigned production layouts to optimize space utilization.
  • Perform dock analysis to determine optimal receiving dock locations.
  • Instrumental in centralization of production and consolidation of three facilities.
  • Incorporated sub-assembly cells for insourced work.
  • Optimized production using lean principles to increase throughput.

BOTTOM-LINE RESULTS:

  • 41% efficiency gain in material flow
  • 43% improvement in production
  • 16% increase in assembly throughput

Material Flow Analysis – Automotive Parts Supplier

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PROJECT

Transition to Fork Free Within Production Areas

CUSTOMER

Automotive Parts Supplier

OVERVIEW

A large Detroit, Michigan based automotive parts supplier was tasked with relocating line side sequencing cells to an offline area in order to reduce the amount of material displayed next to the production line.

After establishing the sequencing cell locations, a fork lift free material delivery plan was to be developed to transport the racks of sequenced parts from the sequencing cells to line side. Design Systems, Inc. developed a facility layout that supports the relocation of the sequencing cells with a dock, material flow, and storage analysis.

GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

  • Conduct circle of work assessment of new process to understand material flow within the facility.
  • Perform dock analysis to determine optimal receiving dock locations.
  • Analyze storage space to identify alternative layouts for racking locations.
  • Develop block and detailed layouts of the facility including offline sequencing cells, storage, and docks.
  • Perform labor utilization analysis based on material flow findings.
  • Make high level organizational structure recommendations.

BOTTOM-LINE RESULTS:

  • Three layout proposals of the facility with varying forklift methods
  • 10% reduction of operators per shift
  • $750,000 saved in head count annually
  • $300,000 saved per year from elimination of different sequencing operations while maintaining or improving efficiency
  • Improved overall morale and productivity through identification of organizational concerns

Material Flow Engineering

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Dockside to Line Side

Material Flow Engineering is the process of engineering, analyzing, optimizing, and defining the Physical Part Routing for every unique part. We see it as the movement of materials or parts within the manufacturing facility. We can handle the flow of the product or process from dockside to lineside.

Real-World Applications

  • Plan for Every Part (PFEP)
    Visibility into disparate parts data, bringing it together in one place.
  • Containerization
    Tailor package, container, rack design to meet your budget and functionality requirements
  • Material Delivery
    Ensure materials and parts delivered to the worker use the most efficient route and reduce congestion.
  • Optimize delivery routes
    Ensure your facility has the right ‘vehicle’ to transport material from receiving at dockside to placement its final destination.

The DSI Advantage

We work with our clients to determine which of our material flow services are best suited to your facilities needs. We give you the results that are required for your facility. We tailor our real-world applications to your facility.

Conveyor Health Assessment – Automotive

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PROJECT

Conveyor Health Assessment

CUSTOMER

Automotive Manufacturer

OVERVIEW

DSI has performed a yearly health assessment at this automotive manufacturer for the past few years. This year presented a new challenge as the client’s facility now produces a vehicle that is heavier than their systems are rated for. The client’s main concern is the additional wear and strain this vehicle is causing. The inspection teams still performed a typical mechanical assessment while placing more focus on observing and documenting abnormal conditions that their maintenance personnel may not be finding.

APPROACH / GOALS / OBJECTIVES

The inspection teams documented a total of 440 reportable issues with the client’s conveyors. 41% of the items reported in the inspection report required immediate or near-term remediation. Nineteen critical issues were found during the inspections that required immediate notification and attention of the client’s maintenance department.

Some of these critical issues were known by the client which validated their observations. The other critical issues were unknown to the client, so they were appreciative to learn of these issues as soon as they were discovered. The Health Assessment Planning Detail Report assisted the client with addressing and closing approximately 60% of the immediate concern items within the first two weeks of receiving the inspection report.

The inspection teams encountered a few conveyors with inaccurate paths on the customer-supplied layout. While not part of the scope of work, the inspection teams did perform a brief field check and update of the affected layout and provided that information to the client as a courtesy.

BOTTOM-LINE RESULTS:

  • 25 IP&F Conveyors Assessed
  • 4 VDLs Assessed
  • 440 Issues classified as reportable discovered
  • 181 Issues classified as requiring immediate or near-term repair or replacement
  • 19 Issues classified as critical
  • Over 100 Issues resolved within the first two weeks of receiving our inspection report

Warehousing and Distribution – “Boutique” MES/WMS Solutions

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MITS Warehouse Management

The Amazon/Google business model has changed how organizations approach their warehousing and distribution operations. Many firms will try and copy this model only to fall short and create additional challenges. Small and midsize firms’ introduction into E-fulfillment does not have to include exorbitant amounts of time and money. The rise of boutique software solutions and best in class processes allow companies to quickly compete in this market.

The systemic opportunity afforded to small and midsize firms has grown significantly over the last few years. In the past, to “play with the big dogs” firms had to spend a significant amount of capital to ensure systems were in place to achieve best in class. Software firms enjoyed bundling their approach to ERP/MES systems and forced companies to pay for functionality that simply is not needed by smaller operations.

Thankfully, there are a handful of solution providers that allow smaller companies to enjoy customizable platforms that fall significantly below cash outlays for larger solution platforms (Oracle/SAP). If you are simply trying to provide visibility into your operations by capturing real-time transactional data, moves, and consumption, why deploy a full ERP?

Some software providers now allow separate standalone modules to satisfy basic needs at a fraction of the cost. This can dramatically change the opportunity for companies to quickly advance visibility into their operations. However, make sure your provider has the capability to add the necessary functionality that will allow them to grow with your business.

At a minimum, those looking to expand their E-Business should ensure their software providers offer:
  • Inventory Control and Management
  • Real-Time Transactional Capabilities
  • Basic Picking Logic – locations / sequenced route
    • Dispatch production, generate picklist
    • Kitting – pick together in sequence before job delivery to production
  • BOM Management and Revision Tracking
  • Customized Reports
  • Receiving and Shipping
    • Comparing POs with received material
    • Tracking discrepancies
  • Process Execution Management – routings, work instructions, progress tracking
As you grow your business you should have a provider that can customize the offering to then include:
  • Picking – Utilizing advanced routing logic
    • Wave, zone, batch, etc.
  • Warehouse Logistics
    • Directed Put-away
    • Zone logic for storage
    • Lot Control – shelf life, expiration, etc.
    • FIFO / FEFO
  • Order Allocation and Order Management
  • Containerization
  • Labor Management
  • Tool and Resource Management (TRM)
  • Yard Management

A customizable MES/WMS offers the proper data collection to make informed decisions for optimizing your operations. Take the time to investigate a more “boutique” approach to a customizable system solution. This type of phased approach will get you in the game quickly and allow sustained growth for your business, without breaking the bank!

Lyon Facility Relocation

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PROJECT

Provide engineering and Project Management support to relocate existing manufacturing operations from the existing facility in Livonia, MI to the new facility in Canton, MI.

CUSTOMER

Lyon Manufacturing

Objectives

    • Relocate manufacturing equipment to brand new facility.
    • Formulate efficient transfer plan without disruption of sales or productivity.
    • Analyze current layouts and design warehouse material storage for increased capacity and efficiency.
    • Develop the detailed facility requirements to support manufacturing process in the new building.
    • Provide dedicated field support to manage the various sub-contractors to ensure the project schedule and scope of work is maintained.

Description

Provide field support to coordinate all installation and equipment relocation tasks with team to ensure a smooth transition, provide daily progress updates, and verify the functionality of the equipment after installation.

“Bottom Line” Results

  • Successful relocation of required equipment from old facility to new facility.
  • Bid packages for Lyon for the successful completion of office relocation in the new facility.
  • All construction and installation coordination completed on time.
  • All facility, timing and budget criteria successfully met.

Total Container Management Solution Provider

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DSI has grown steadily over the past 23 years into one of the industry’s premier manufacturing process engineering companies. From our perspective, the world is indeed getting smaller, as is evident by the demand for our people and services around the world. Although there are many countries with a wealth of graduating engineers in various fields, the manufacturing engineering skills and experience we have developed here in the Motor City are sought not only by automobile manufacturers but also a variety of manufacturing companies around the world.

I credit our longevity and success to maintaining our focus on providing quality work and continually developing new services to support the needs of our customers. We have maintained a core group of long term dedicated employees with many of us having over 20 years of service with DSI. Our experienced staff welcomes the opportunity to support you with your manufacturing engineering or project integration needs.

I want to thank all of you – our customers – for your support and encourage you to give me a call if you have any questions on the many engineering services we provide.

Sincerely,
Dan Birchmeier
Director of Sales and Marketing

What’s Inside:
Some of DSI’s services to consider for your facility improvement projects:

  • Total Container Management Solution Provider

Maximizing Productivity by Design

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What’s Inside:
Some of DSI’s services to consider for your facility improvement projects:

  • Hot Equipment Can Chill Your Bottom Line
  • Vehicle Quality Assurance is a Matter of Nuts and Bolts
  • Working Safely is the Smart Way to Work
  • Manufacturing Systems, Prevention is Cheaper than the Cure
  • Baggage Handling Systems that let you Grow

Maximizing Productivity by Design

DSI stands out as a leader amongst engineering consulting firms in the US. Some of the engineering services DSI offers include mechanical engineering consulting, world class manufacturing, electrical engineering services and more. Our team also includes expert supply chain consultants and supply chain planners.

Contact us today for more details.

“Strategic Alliance” Support Team – Midwest Paint Shop Program

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PROJECT

Midwest Paint Shop Program

CUSTOMER

General Motors Corporation

Objectives

Develop a “Strategic Alliance” Support Team for GMVO Paint Engineering Group’s procurement of a new paint shop. Team responsibilities included program administration, scheduling activities, financial control, document control, program safety support and training coordination.

Description

GMVO Paint Engineering Group planned to procure a new paint shop facility, including all building and process requirements, from a single full-service contractor, rather than using multiple vendors for engineering, site construction, building construction, equipment installation, etc. The initial screening of contractors for capability of performance was the responsibility of GMVO Paint Engineering.

GMVO Paint Engineering needed a knowledgeable engineering/construction resource during the team engineering, site construction and facility activation stages.

“Bottom Line” Results

A Design Systems “Strategic Alliance” Support Team Concept was developed for the new GMVO Paint Shop that permitted the client flexibility of resource management without incurring additional fixed program costs. The concept included:

  • Engineering resources provided by the OSI team working parallel engineering studies with the full-service contractor engineering team. These parallel studies permitted the client to examine numerous alternatives offline without impacting the primary scheduling timeframe.
  • Alternate layout configurations being developed by the OSI Team based on site topography. This effort resulted in the client being able to reduce site preparation by approximately 30,000 cubic yards of fill material and 1400 lineal feet of retaining wall.

The DSI Team was configured to provide both full time and part time personnel as required to complete engineering and construction tasks in a timely manner and at minimal cost. The team consisted of five permanent members: Program Administrator, Administrative Assistant, Scheduler, Financial Controller and Document Controller. Six part time members were assigned to Miscellaneous Paint Process, MSQ Document Control, Electrical Controls, Contract Cost Management, Information Systems and Administrative Launch Assistance.

Vehicle Assembly – Underbody Robotic Sub-Assembly

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PROJECT

Underbody Robotic Sub-assembly

CUSTOMER

General Motors Corporation

Objectives

  1. Evaluate and prove the systems’ ability to meet throughput objectives of 90 JPH “gross” and 77 JPH “average yield.”
  2. Identify any deficiencies (bottlenecks) in cell flow as well as potential improvements to the cell design.
  3. Define the effects of downtime, part shortages and operator efficiency.

Description

A base model was developed for each of the subassembly cells under study. The base model simulation was run without the effects of downtime to verify that objective #1 was achieved and that input parameters were correct. Based on a random approach, downtime effects were applied to the model, and changes in the system behavior were recorded. This allowed the identification of system bottlenecks from statistical data. “What-if” scenarios were then performed on the simulation model to determine how the effects of downtime, material shortages and operator overcycles can be offset, thereby improving throughput.

“Bottom Line” Results

System Throughput: 78.5 JPH Base model
Downtime Applied: 73.9 JPH
Early and Late Breaks: 64.9 JPH
Part Shortages On: 59.3 JPH
Quality Issues On: 47.4 JPH


Station 13 identified as the system bottleneck. Part 14957 shortage significantly affected throughput.

Eliminating material shortages associated with part 14957 –> resulted in 52.1 JPH


Replacing Station 13 fixed conveyor with an accumulating conveyor –> resulted in 52.8 JPH


Improving Station 13 and Robot 11 cycle time to 40 sec –> resulted in 59.5 JPH


Eliminating early and late breaks –> resulted In (;1.4 JPH


Eliminating quality issue problems and resulting delays –> resulted in 84.2 JPH

Vehicle Assembly – Floor Pan Build System

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PROJECT

Floor Pan Build System

CUSTOMER

General Motors Corporation

Objectives

  1. Analyze the system and identify potential bottlenecks.
  2. Evaluate the systems’ throughput at 100% capacity, with allowances for probable unscheduled downtime.
  3. Evaluate “what-if” scenarios to improve system performance to a gross of 115 JPH.

Description

Floor Pan Build System consisting of material handling and shuttle robots, welding robots, operators, turntable stations, and part sub-assemblies.

General Methodology

A baseline simulation model was developed reflecting the current operating conditions of the Floor Pan Build System. An analysis verified that the system’s operationallogic and cycle times could support the measured gross rate, taking into consideration process interaction, but without the effects of downtime. A net rate analysis was performed employing downtime data derived from actual observations. The data was analyzed, filtered and incorporated into the model when evaluating the impact of downtime on the system. Experimentation with respect to cycle time reductions was performed with the objective of achieving a target gross throughput of 115 JPH

“Bottom Line” Results

BASE MODEL:

Gross Throughput –> 99.6 JPH
Net Throughput –> 85.0 JPH


AFTER CYCLE TIME CHANGES:

Gross Throughput –> 114.6 JPH
Net Throughput –> 97.5 JPH


Recommendations on ways to reduce cycle times in “arious al8Bs went offered, and included in the final report. For example, regstrling shuttle robots 10 and 19, the suggestion was made to eliminate the shuttle robots’ staging movements, thus eliminating redundant parts handling and reducing cycle times.

Material Handling Systems – Preform AGV Delivery System

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PROJECT

PreformAGV Delivery System

CUSTOMER

Western Container Corporation/Coca Cola

Objectives

  1. Evaluate and test the AGV systems’ throughput capability under anticipated operating conditions.
  2. Verify that eight AGVs will maintain throughput demands.
  3. Compare the effects of one, two or three home stations (AGV park empty waiting for next pick-up task).

Description

Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) pick-up from 12 additional preform machines and delivery to automated bin unload station.

“Bottom Line” Results

AGY system can service 24 preform machines without ever impacting preform machine throughput (blocked by full containers).

One home station (empty AGY parking) provides the greatest flexibility and quickest response time to waiting machines.

System would meet production requirements with as little as five AGYs, indicating excess system capacity.

Material Handling – Large Package Sorting System

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PROJECT

Large Package Sorting System

CUSTOMER

United States Postal Service

Like all USPS processing plants, a Bulk Mail Center (BMC) must use its resources wisely to meet the challenges of a changing mail processing environment.

Presently, package piece count is increasing 20 to 70% annually, prompting the BMCs to request installation of a Large Package Sorting System (LPSS). Without these systems, package volume will overwhelm BMCs in the near future, causing a degradation in service and higher costs due to an increase in manual processing.

The LPSS operates within BMCs and other USPS mail processing facilities to sort large parcels. Systems include a sorter and equipment to deliver and take away product from the sorter. The configuration of the system is site-specific depending on the space availability, package count, and number of distributions required.

These are the important points relative to the LPSS project.

Flexible Model for Evaluating LPSS Systems

The simulation was constructed with distinct modules, such
as singulator, scanner, etc., so that different configurations
could be easily modeled.

If different configurations are modeled, floor space requirements may be more accurately quantified after determining the effectiveness of the new system.

Package Sort Plans

The simulation model was tested using one sort plan. To optimize the number of runouts, changes must be made to the sort plan and the staffing of the runouts. Alternatives include:

  • Combining low volume runouts and having multiple pallets at one runout.
  • Splitting up high volume runouts to ease workload and minimize “full” conditions.
  • Using multiple operators at single high volume runouts.

Overall

The highest impacting deficiency in the LPSS system today is the sweep operation at the end of the runouts.

The uneven distribution of packages to these runouts decreases sweeper utilization and increases packages sent to the mis-sent runout, which is less efficient than the regular runouts. Optimizing the sort scheme will correct a large part of this problem.