Lyon Facility Relocation

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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.


Lyon Manufacturing


    • 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.


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.

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.

Energy Solutions Provider – Three-Step Approach To Renewable Energy Implementation

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By taking the holistic approach toward sustainability of energy & utility savings, Design Systems will assess, design, implement and validate a comprehensive program to meet your specific needs.

  • Energy Audit and Assessment
  • Solution Implementation
  • Performance & LEED Certification

Energy Audit and Assessment

An initial Audit will quickly identify your objectives and potential for energy and utility cost savings. This initial report will address your specific goals.

Capital Investment, Return on Investment, Identify Cost Saving Opportunities, and Sustainability. Sustainability: Greenhouse Gas Reduction, Brand Equity, Reduce Foreign Oil Dependence, Employee Retention and LEED compliance.

An energy and utility assessment will further define and detail opportunities. The assessment will:

  • Identify Potential Opportunities
  • Identify Incentives
  • Assess Risk
  • Determine Timelines
  • Quantify Capital Cost
  • Quantify Savings

Let us start you on the path of personal and corporate “green” responsibility – for as litte as $1000 we perform an inital audit of your facility. The next step is up to you.

Solution Implementation

From systems design through seamless Turnkey Integration, Design Systems, Inc. can provide the right resources at the right time for your:

  • Funding Source Assistance
  • Site and Facility Design
  • Permitting Assistance
  • Systems Engineering
  • CPM Scheduling
  • Electrical & Controls Integration
  • Procurement
  • Installation
  • Commissioning & Testing
  • Performance Analysis Plan

Additionally, the use of Renewable Energy could be a viable part of your solution. Identifying the right resources to meet your intended goal is paramount. Options may include:

  • Solar Photovoltaic
  • Solar Thermal
  • Wind Energy
  • Bio-Mass
  • Geothermal

Typical Savings Opportunities

Design Systems, Inc. will examine all potential solution opportunities for system enhancements, optimization and upgrades.

  • Lighting and Electrical Efficiency
  • Electrical and HVAC Load Balancing
  • Predictive Indoor Environmental Tempering
  • Ventilation Optimization
  • Water Use Efficiency
  • Process Improvements
  • Waste Reduction Planning

Many of these solutions can be achieved quickly and with minimal investment, merely requiring dedication and commitment from the stakeholders. See brochure below for more information.

Design Systems, Inc. Reviews

“The best place for all your engineering needs. Try a sample of the MITS manufacturing IT solutions… You’ll be running back for more!” Read More

Energy Solution Providers

“Strategic Alliance” Support Team – Midwest Paint Shop Program

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Midwest Paint Shop Program


General Motors Corporation


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.


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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Underbody Robotic Sub-assembly


General Motors Corporation


  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.


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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Floor Pan Build System


General Motors Corporation


  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.


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


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


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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PreformAGV Delivery System


Western Container Corporation/Coca Cola


  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).


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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Large Package Sorting System


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.


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.

Material Handling – Finished Paper Roll Handling System

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Finished Paper Roll Handling System


Appleton Papers, Inc.


  • Evaluate and prove the AEM system’s ability to meet the design throughput requirement of 5100 rolls per day.
  • Identify any deficiencies (bottlenecks) in the system flow and determine potential design improvements.
  • Assist with controls development, including flow logic and AEM path zoning to insure design throughput objective is reached.
  • Evaluate each order sortation area’s ability to meet the design throughput requirement.


System 1: Automated Electrified Monorail (AEM) delivery of cut paper rolls from nine rewinders to seven wrapping machines.

System 2: AEM delivery of wrapped paper rolls from seven wrapping machines to four order sortation areas.

System 3: Palletized order sortation using semiautomated bridge cranes.

“Bottom Line” Results

System can achieve 5100 rolls per day requirement Detennined optimum dispatch locations for empty AEM vehicles. Developed dispatch algorithm for empty vehicle selection of rewinder pick-up location. Developed AEM path flow logic to minimize vehicle flow restrictions through the following methods:

  • AEM track zoning
  • Vehicle priorities
  • Pick-up/Drop-off decision logic

Determined minimum vehicle requirements of 12 for system ‘1 and 15 for system 12. Vehicle costs were $80,000 and $30,000 for systems ‘1 and 12, respectively.

Simulation Engineering

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Do It Right The First Time

Design Systems, Inc.’s simulation engineering experience spans more than 20 years and cumulative staff experience more than 100 years. The process involvement over these years has been in a multitude of industries.

The most critical component of simulation engineering analysis is the ability to understand the dynamics of a system and then translate that understanding into a simulation model that will accurately reflect the system(s) and its dynamic interactions. This analysis allows your project goals to be quickly and accurately validated.

Strain Gauge Link

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Design Systems, Inc. proudly introduces an additional offering to its growing list of Conveyor Health Assessment services. The tension of the chain can be measured through the length of the conveyor with a Strain Gauge Link.

Strain Gauge Link Benefits:

  • Maximum tension in chain and location of the tension
  • Compare real tension data to theoretical Chain Pull results to avoid adding unnecessary drives
  • Chain Pull at each drive for the current load condition
  • Rolling friction of chain to verify lubrication effectiveness
  • Air pressure needed at take-up to give minimum system tension
  • Pulsing of chain tension from engagement with the drive’s cat chain
  • Link can be shipped, installed and removed by plant personnel, then returned for data processing, to limit engineering time in the field
  • Results presented on a graph of tension vs length of conveyor

Temperature limit is 170°F due to battery limitations. Higher temperature applications are possible with the data logger in an insulated enclosure attached to the chain.

Other Possible Configurations:

Drive Monitor

A Strain Gauge Link will show the difference in tension before and after it passes a drive. A drive monitor sensor will show the Chain Pull at the drive for varying load conditions that occur during the day. Results are presented on a graph of Chain Pull vs. time to determine maximum pull of the drive.

Carrier Rolling Friction

A tension sensor can be used to measure individual carrier pull by temporarily attaching to the preceding carrier. This will give actual rolling friction for the carrier wheels to use in Chain Pull analysis, instead of a theoretical value.

Custom Installations

Strain Gauges can also be added to the framework of a conveyor turn that is at the lowest tension in the system. When the loads vary, the take-up air pressure can be adjusted with feedback from the gauges to keep chain at the lowest tension which reduces wear.


  • Tension Monitoring
  • Performance Visualization
  • Minimized Downtime
  • Cost Saving Opportunities

Conveyor Training

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Have a conveyor system but not sure you are fully utilizing its functionality? Maintenance issues causing unexpected costs, personnel time and downtime? Design Systems, Inc. has been providing Conveyor Engineering Services for our customer’s material handling needs since 1983. As an engineering service provider and not an equipment supplier, we are a completely unbiased engineering resource whose only goal is to design the best possible solution for our client’s unique circumstances.

Let us help you get the most out of your conveyor systems; understand its capabilities, maintenance requirements and design parameters. Classes offered by Design Systems experienced team of engineers can be tailored to your specific conveyor systems and will typically run from a 1-day overview session to a more in-depth week long class.

Save Maintenance Costs – Do it yourself

Conveyor EngineeringThese training classes are designed to teach facility personnel the fundamentals of Conveyor Systems Engineering so they will have an understanding of each system’s overall functions and capabilities.

This systems-oriented course is ideal for cross-training plant personnel. People who will benefit from attending this course include:

  • Plant and Facility Engineers
  • Supervisors
  • Building Engineers
  • Safety Directors
  • Environmental Health and Safety Personnel

Conveyor Systems Included in the Course Overview

  • Overhead Power and Free
  • Inverted Power and Free
  • Skillet System
  • Chain-On-Edge System
  • Skid System
  • Flattop System
  • Power Roll and Belt Systems
  • Basic Transfer Methods

Topics Covered for Each System

  • Chain Pull Calculations
  • Throughput Analysis
  • Horsepower and Drive calculations
  • Take-up Calculations
  • Clearance Studies (Horizontal and Vertical)
  • Min / Max / Float Calculations
  • Zone Counts
  • Strip Out Bank Calculations
  • JPH Calculations
  • Basic Carrier Designs and Carrier Quantity Analysis
  • Basic Transfer Designs
  • Horizontal Turn Studies and Rules
  • Vertical Curve Studies and Rules
  • Accumulation Studies
  • Trolley Load Studies
  • Load Bar / Tow Bar Studies and Rules
  • Basic Carrier Troubleshooting

Conveyor and Process Equipment Health Assessment Surveys

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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.

Visual and Physical Validation of Components

  • Conveyor track wear measurements
  • Chain stretch
  • Lubrication equipment inspections
  • Drive and take-up inspections
  • Condition of rollers
  • Hydraulic units / lifts
  • Safety devices

Vibration Analysis

  • Rotating pumps
  • Motors
  • Fans
  • Compressors
  • Bearings

Infrared Analysis

  • Substations
  • Buss ducts
  • Motors & bearings
  • Electrical Panels
  • Welding cables

Oil Analysis

  • Conveyor Drives
  • Cymonic Drives
  • Compressors
  • Refrigeration equipment

Strain Gauge Analysis

  • Provides detailed analysis of chain tension


  • Digital camera
  • Infrared camera
  • Calipers
  • Conveyor Gap measurement gauge
  • Strobe light for high speed devices
  • Electronic Ultra Sound thickness gauge
  • AMP / Volt meter
  • Vibration measurement gauge
  • Chain Strain Gauge


  • Schematic layout of the inspected equipment.
  • Digital photos of problematic areas.
  • Infrared “Hot Spot” analysis of high friction areas, control panel, buss connections and more.
  • Problem prioritization.
  • Recommendations for corrective action


  • Reduce unplanned downtime
  • Improve useful life of equipment
  • Improve energy efficiency
  • Improve maintenance efficiency by establishing repair priorities.
  • Minimize maintenance overtime

3D Facility Layout Development

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3D Design is reality in Design Systems, Inc.

Design Systems, Inc. uses a broad suite of 3-D design software, including, to name a few, CATIA, Unigraphics, Solid Edge, AutoCAD, FactoryCad. Visualization and animation software include: UGS Teamcenter Visualization Quality and 3-D Studio Max.

Facility Layout Development

Design Systems, Inc. applies its 25 years of experience with facility and material handling engineering to the development of comprehensive 3-D plant layouts.

  • Native 3-D drawings conversions
  • 2-D to 3-D drawings
  • Field check to 3-D drawings
  • Laser Scanning to 3-D drawings
  • 3-D to AVI “Fly throughs” Development of 3-D concept and Bid Package level layouts for facilities and conveyor systems.
  • Development of material handling and material display layouts.
  • Layout support using “Smart Object”

Work Cells/ Workstations

From the 3-D layout model, any workstation or cell can be isolated allowing:

  • Identification and study of the workstation and it’s environment, including carriers, racks, tools, rails, etc.
  • Analysis of operator workflow and packaged materials within the work cell.
  • Confirmation of work elements required within the workstation.
  • Review and analysis of ergonomic issues.

Uses of 3-D Layout Design

      Exceptional presentation tool
      Interference Detection
      Coordination, and validation of tooling design / location
      Quick development of cross-sections
      Validation of service accessibility
      Operator training
      Visual management


  • Error Reduction
  • Interference Resolution
  • Clarity Through Visualization
  • Cost Reduction By:

    • Design Optimization
    • Ease of Change Management
    • Team Integration and Coordination
    • Decision tool for Management

3D Carrier Design

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s a core competency, Design Systems, Inc.has extensive “hands-on” experience with 3-D carrier design and virtual modeling.

CATIA V4 & V5 and Unigraphics software are used for the design of carriers and fork transfers. These design tools provide customers with better and more accurate detail design, thus reducing the number of prototype carriers required for testing and design proofs.

Using Finite Element Analysis (FEA) software with the 3-D models, Design Systems can “Right Size :” the structural elements of the carriers for both static and dynamic loading. This eliminates “Over Sizing” of carrier members which reduces cost in carrier fabrication, conveyor drive HP requirements and conveyor system wear.

Our expertise with 3-D software and “big screen” conferencing facilitates highly effective coordination with the client and suppliers. It also reduces carrier design time allowing best possible communications regarding design intent and decision -making.

Design Systems has the ability to connect with our customers via:

  • T1 Lines
  • Virtual Product Manager (VPM)
  • AutoWeb CCX-I Mailbox
  • AutoWeb GCX-I Mailbox



  • “Right Sizing” carrier structures.
  • Design carriers accurately the first time.
  • Multiple product capability using product math data.
  • Early design to allow coordination with suppliers.
  • Early design allows prototype build at customer facility.


  • Minimize prototype development.
  • Minimize launch issues.
  • Minimize vendor coordination errors.

Maintenance Support Solution Factsheet

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Of all the sources of waste in the manufacturing environment, unplanned stoppages represent one of the largest contributors. From unreliable equipment to overly complex processes, these events can derail the goals of the manufacturing organization and result in substantial costs in both money and reputation.

Fortunately, this type of waste is fairly easy to treat. Alongside a disciplined maintenance procedure, reliable and quantifiable data can help lead preventative maintenance activities in the right direction, treating the root cause of downtime and measuring the effectiveness of remedial activities.

Maintenance Support Quick Reference Guide

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Our Manufacturing IT Solutions offer off-the-shelf functionality designed to eliminate the typical challenges encountered in manufacturing operations. They are highly scalable and cost effective and can be seamlessly integrated into new or existing processes with great ease. Maintenance Support tools are designed to help you increase the efficiency of your facility through the reduction of unplanned downtimes and better preventative maintenance.

The Technology

Alarm Annunciation and Alerts
Increases maintenance teams reaction times with visual and mobile alerts
Reactive Maintenance Management
Generates and manages maintenance orders based on unplanned events
Preventative Maintenance Management
Prevent unplanned downtown with preventative maintenance triggers
Integration with Maintenance Systems
Seamlessly integrates with your systems or functions as a stand alone solution
Continuous Improvement Reports
Focuses continuous improvement efforts through fact driven event reports