Recent Submissions

  • Engineering economic analysis of a plastics compounding facility

    Zhu, Changhui
    In this project, we assumed that the pilot plant operation of the Research & Development Department of Ferro Corporation, Filled and Reinforced Plastics (F & RP) Division, is considering investing in an additional compounding line. There are two possible alternatives: a continuous mixer (e.g. a Farrell CP-23 Continuous Processor), or a twin-screw extruder (e.g. a ZSK-40 Twin-Screw Extruder). Two major techniques of economic analysis were used to evaluate the two alternatives. All other factors, i.e. the features of each alternative and human factors which affect the output of the equipment, were also evaluated quantitatively. For the present study, a target rate of return at 25% was selected. The results of present worth analysis predicted that the CP- 23 Continuous Processor Compounding Line will be the best choice, generating $57,336 net profit after 10 years of operation at a 25% rate of return. The ZSK-40 Twin-Screw Extruder Compounding Line will generate $3,013 by the same calculation. The rate of return analysis found that the CP-23 Continuous Processor Compounding Line can yield a 31% rate of return per annum which is much higher than the target, while that of the ZSK-40 Twin-Screw Extruder Compounding Line is only 25. 2%. A sensitivity analysis found that the gross margin rate of the ZSK-40 Twin-Screw Extruder Compounding Line would have to pe increased by $0.062/lb. to compete with the CP-23 Continuous Processor Compounding Line. Reducing the undesired down time on the ZSK-40 Twin-Screw Extruder Compounding Line cannot totally solve the problem. It is very important to note that the evaluation of these machines in this study was for a pilot plant facility only. The results have no bearing on a manufacturing operation in the real world.
  • Automation & network disaster recovery planning (ANDRP)

    Wolfe, Rockie S.
    Automation has evolved into many levels of complexity and points of failure. In this research paper the focus is on automation disaster recovery methods and examples. Also, extra effort was put into the growing interdependency of automation and Information Technology (IT) in the modem manufacturing facilities of today. Disaster recovery plans under the business continuity model is briefly discussed as research and articles in this area have been in print for decades if not centuries. Some discussion is covered in the benefit-cost analysis section. This short discussion is not meant to take away from the importance of benefit-cost analysis to artfully sell needed projects to procurement and upper management. The research is broken down into five different yet related disciplines: Automation, Disaster Recovery Plans, Information Technology, the new Hybrid, and Benefit Cost Analysis. After covering the five different disciplines there is a follow up with an example application for Automation / IT Disaster Recovery Plan. The intent of this paper is to create guidance for starting a disaster recovery plan in a manufacturing setting. Unfortunately no '"one size fits all" and the many challenges of natural and intellectual negative effects on business continuity will demand a lifelong commitment to investment, education, and awareness.
  • Process improvement for pharmaceutical quality control

    Winternheimer, Karen A.
    This paper investigates how kitting frequency, workload distribution, and innovative technology affect cycle time, throughput, and cost within Quality Control. Using historical arrival data for individual lots, the best kitting option among the, following is selected: weekly, bi-weekly, or daily. Subsequently the distribution of work among single versus multiple analysts is considered. The implication of robotics and uPLC are discussed. The best combination of kitting interval and workload distribution is composed of bi-weekly kitting and double analyst workload distribution. This combination reduces cycle time, increases throughput, and decreases cost. However, Crystal Ball sensitivity analysis reveals bi-weekly kitting is very sensitive to changes in the arrival pattern of lots. This can be counteracted by monitoring the schedule to determine what number of lots will provide the most cost effective kitting interval. Implementation of this combination provided substantial decrease in cycle time within Quality Control and provided an opportunity to utilize automation in the future.
  • Feeder reliability in the extrusion process for polycarbonate

    Wallace, Stephen
    The research paper looks at upgrading the feeder reliability in the extrusion process for polycarbonate. Using three of the Lexan Finishing feeder systems as an example for the other feeder systems, the study discusses the process of extrusion, the proposed changes, and justifications to demonstrate the needs for feeder control, upgrades. Moreover, the paper also describes each feeder control items that are proposed to be purchased from Acrison, Inc. The description provides all features of the five items that need to be purchased.
  • Apex Engineering, Inc. : time card improvement for a consulting engineering firm

    Rosean, Alan B.
    Apex Engineering, Inc. uses a computerized accounting program called Win2 for processing its payroll even though each week every employee fills out a time sheet by hand. Errors on the time sheets were delaying processing. This thesis project looked at improving the time sheets. The project centered around the design and implementation of a computerized timecard to replace the handwritten time sheet. This project served two major purposes. First, the new computerized timecard improved the accuracy and completeness of the original time sheet. Second, the information in the new timecard can now be easily extracted and compiled into reports. All data is contained within a Microsoft Access 2.0 database table. Tools such as structured query language (SQL) can be used to extract information from the central database based on selected criteria such as a list of all employees hours for any given project. The new computerized timecard was designed with short-term tactical and longterm strategic goals in mind. The tactical goals included faster timecard completion; more accurate match of project numbers and descriptions; and more accurate computation of employee hours. The strategic goals covered creation of a centralized database containing all employee timecard data with provision for extraction, compilation and creation of reports using SQL. These SQL-derived reports now can be used for improving areas such as the bidding process or personnel assignments within the firm . The timecard was designed to be simple and easy to use, especially by noncomputer literate personnel. To use the timecard the employee merely starts the program in a standard Windows environment. Then the employee makes selections by use of a standard Windows pointing device such as a mouse or track ball. The only typing involved by the employee is entering the hours worked on each project. The timecard program automatically computes the hours as the employee advances from one option to the next. The service program is also easy to use. Its opening screen contains command buttons that open tables in the database for direct editing by support personnel. Any table can be edited. The service program operates from a secure computer to maintain confidentiality.
  • Flexible manufacturing assembly work cell at SRG Global Inc. Evansville, IN

    Odeh, Hasan Nizar
    The project discussed in this document focuses on SRG Evansville's first introduction of Flexible Manufacturing Cell for the U222 and U228 project in terms of assembly of components. The focus revolves around designing and project management of the first robotics machine cell to enter the plant. The workcell was designed for future expansion and capital cost reductions when compared to the current state of assembly production. The workcell was designed to build two separate finished goods; the grille for the Lincoln Navigator and the grille for the Ford Expedition. The research that supplemented this project discussed the advantages of Flexible Manufacturing Cells (FMC) and was linked to the application at hand. Also, the design of standard work through predetermined time study was analyzed along with the layout planning for the new production system. The document discussed the current method of production that involves stand-alone machines that are operated manually by operators, the financial impact, and process for the current machines. The document also described the new process for requesting vendor quotes that resulted from the project along with all the projected cycle times for the workcell. Financial analysis in terms of Present Worth and Breakeven Analysis were conducted to determine the feasibility of the options and the method for choosing the selected vendor for fabrication. The machine was awarded to an outside vendor and project management tools were used to track progress and begin development of the process. This included critical path analysis on the given project timeline. Finally, the plan to measure the machine effectiveness and trial run plans were discussed.
  • How to prepare for and survive a quality audit when you are not a member of the quality assurance group

    Pfingston, Joann M.
    This paper is informational in nature. As a member of the Support Staff to the Sales Department, it was important for an example to be set related to management and employee "buy-in" from other disciplines when the QS-9000 mandate was given by the automotive industry for suppliers to comply or seek business elsewhere. The Sales Department was going to drive the company forward and give direction to Research and Production. There were three people chosen from within the Sales Department to attend different outside seminars hosted by the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) in order to learn firsthand what the challenge for the business future was as it related to the new Quality Standard. After that seminar, there were many changes made within the Sales Department. In addition to regular job duties, several people became involved in the quest for QS-9000 either as active participants for one of the Sales Department procedure writing teams, for the company audit team or as a member of the company's Implementation Team also known as the "I-Team". The company was about to begin the largest single endeavor of the company's history. This paper will take you through the processes used to organize and prepare a Sales Department that includes Administrative Assistants, Sales Representatives, Technical Service Representatives, Marketing Managers, and Sales Support Staff through the clean up of the department in order to prepare for the third party registrar audit.
  • Development of an organization and management manual for the field construction phase of automotive projects for George Koch Sons, Inc.

    Neeley, Thomas S.
    This paper presents the development of an Organization and Management Manual for the field construction phase of automotive projects for George Koch Sons, Inc., manufacturers of paint finishing systems. The paper details the planning process, the situational analysis, the goals development, the plans and structure for the manual, and recommendations that were made upon completion of the project. The planning process involved identifying the resources available from within the Koch organization. The situational analysis utilized both a quantitative method and an environmental assessment to identify strengths and weaknesses of the field operation. The goals that evolved from the analysis were: I. To increase productivity and reduce customer complaints by developing procedures and guidelines to aid in the management of field projects. 2. To design the O & M document to be a quick and easy reference for employees who may not have an understanding or familiarity with the Koch organization. 3. To structure the O & M document to allow revisions, since all projects will have different requirements. The manual which evolved from this project included I 3 sections dealing with topics ranging from installation supervision to safety programs and equipment start up. Recommendations are made regarding the future use of the manual and on the management of information within the Koch organization.
  • Conversion of Green Station lime scrubbing system to limestone

    Shaw, Thomas L.
    This paper investigates the costs associated with the current operation using a lime scrubber and compares those costs with the conversion to a limestone scrubber. The conversion to limestone impacts several key costs that affect the cost to generate a megawatt-hour of electricity. Replacement costs for equipment and expected savings in disposal and operational costs are compared to the existing operational costs. Additionally, a typical business case was developed to project the expected cost savings and the expected internal rate of return on the capital expenditure.
  • Evaluation of Ash Management Processes

    Talbert, Marco
    In the spring of 2001, Vectren announced an intensive campaign to improve business processes and reduce costs throughout the organization to achieve aggressive financial goals. In alignment with Vectren's campaign goals, this project was undertaken to find cost reduction opportunities at F.B. Culley Generating Station. This project focused on the area of ash management processes. As such, this project is entitled "Evaluation of Ash Management Processes Seeking Cost Reduction Opportunities at Vectren's F.B. Culley Generating Station." To begin the evaluation, primary emphasis was placed on the dry fly ash system processes, as these processes account for the majority of ash activities at Culley. Secondary consideration was given to wet system process, such as, ash pond activities. The project utilized two different approaches relative to reducing overall costs. The first approach was to evaluate and reduce the direct costs associated with the dry ash system processes. This included items, such as, trucking ash back to the mine, fees associated with ash placed at the mine, and the ash silo unloading process at the plant. The second approach, in contrast to the first, was to evaluate and implement processes which could generate revenue or avoid costs to offset operating expenses. The basis of this approach was expanding the current scope of "beneficial use" applications for Culley ash products. With the first approach, the evaluation of the dry ash system processes was successful in identifying three cost reduction opportunities. In the Load Out area, eliminating or significantly reducing the operator's overtime was the key issue. In the Trucking area, the base haul rate and fuel surcharge components were the important issues. In the Tipping area, the Moisture Adjustment Factor for ash placement at the mine was the key item. Regarding these opportunities, cost reductions of approximately $____ and $____ are anticipated in the areas of Load Out and Tipping, respectively, as a result of the evaluation. With the second approach, the evaluation of processes to generate revenue and avoid cost was successful in identifying various opportunities that appeared very feasible for the Culley ash products. In the fly ash applications area, increasing the utilization of fly ash in the redi-mix concrete market was the key element. In the bottom ash applications area, the key issue was evaluation of applications such as, grit blasting, roofing granules, and several aggregate replacement applications. In the other ash applications area, the key issue was ash pond cleaning in conjunction with the utilization of ponded ash materials in a structural fill application for _____ site reclamation. The evaluation revealed potential savings of approximately $____with regard to using a particular vendor, _____, for the ash pond cleaning activity in combination with a structural fill application. Thus, the Strategic Sourcing Team recommended _____ and undertook an effort to implement the opportunity. Although implementation in 2002 was not possible, Vectren continues to pursue this opportunity for a 2003 implementation.
  • Project proposal to build a new TPO single-ply roofing manufacturing facility

    Pohli, Douglas
    This project involves a decision for GAF Material Corporation on whether to build a new single-ply roofing manufacturing plant, and where to geographically locate the plant based on the analysis of a financial model. The scope of the project includes identifying options for manufacturing equipment and operating locations, selecting an option based on the financial model, and conducting preliminary engineering as required to deliver a +/- I 0% cost estimate to complete the project as well as detailed timeline for construction, hiring, and start-up of the new facility. After identifying multiple geographic options and potential sites for the facility, the field was quickly narrowed to two locations: Mount Vernon, Indiana and Gainesville, Texas. Further financial analysis indicated that the Gainesville option offered a better return on investment due to freight savings to the southern portion of the country, particularly the southwest. Engineering was conducted to secure a +/- 10% estimate of a project cost of $26.8 million to build the Gainesville facility, with an Internal Rate of Return of 29% and a Net Present Value of $28.6 million. Completion of the project is 17 months from approval. Based on the data, GAF senior management has accepted the project and authorized the project to move forward with a completion date of September 2007.
  • Converting a MIL-I-45208A inspection system to the minimum demands of ISO 9002

    Skinner, James D.
    This project presents the conversion of a Mil-I-45208A quality system to one meeting the minimum demands of ISO 9002. This project briefly describes both quality systems and an approach in converting to ISO 9002. Three parts are contained in this report: an Overview, a Comparison of the Military and the International quality requirements, and a Case Study. The Overview and Comparison are descriptive to familiarize the reader with the subject. The Overview describes the project and the basic ideas of a quality system, and introduces the Military and International quality system standards. The Comparison discusses the Military and International quality system standards in depth and briefly describes the similarities and differences of Mil-I-45208A and ISO 9002. Part III, the Case Study, presents the actual conversion from a Mil-I-45208A system to one meeting the minimum ofISO 9002. This project assumes that the reader has a limited knowledge of quality system concepts. It is not intended to be a stand-alone guide to convert to ISO 9002 from Mil-I- 45208A, but gives an approach the author would take given a set of Mil-I-45208A procedures.
  • Not just power, possibility : storm planning solutions

    Schmitt, Brian K.
    This project will focus on the actions and procedures that take place during storm related electric outages within an electric utility organization. An assessment will be made of the current organizational structure and personnel who are currently being utilized for storm restoration in order to determine areas of need and the effectiveness of the present storm plan. From this analysis plans will be developed to take advantage of new technologies and refine old processes to meet the demands of both internal and external customers. Throughout the project ongoing communication with management will help nurture the internal cultural changes along with providing the support for successfully implementing the changes towards efficiency. Ongoing evaluation after implementation will ensure that progress has been achieved and will further drive process efficiency changes.
  • Introduction of Flame Retarded Polyethylene for the Fire Retarded Pallet Industry at Omni Plastics, LLC

    Vidal, Alfonso R.
    The plastic pallet industry is suffering major changes due to new developments of new fire codes for pallet storage. These changes are being lead by a group of insurance companies and by the fire marshals. Plastic pallet manufacturers have developed new products that allow these companies to respond to the new needs. These new products triggered the development of new resins. These resins are molded into a pallet to comply with new fire requirements and maintaining the same performance of a regular plastic pallet. Omni Plastics, LLC is one of the resin compounding companies that responded to the challenge. The resultant resin is a high performing fire retarded High Density Polyethylene that will be used by a pallet manufacturer on its Underwriters Laboratory approved product.
  • Development of a plant policy and procedure for assurance of coal pulverizer performance

    Payne, Mark A.
    ln conjunction with a plant equipment upgrade at the Southern Indiana Gas and Electric Company (SIGECO), F.B. Culley Station to reduce Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) emissions, it was agreed upon by SIGECO and the equipment manufacturer that tighter control of individual pulverizer air-to-fuel ratios is critical in achieving optimum performance of the affected boiler. This paper delineates steps taken by SIGECO management to most effectively monitor and control operational parameters that affect the process. The final product of this project is a plant policy and procedure for assuring that these operational objectives are met.
  • Supply chain management focus supplier quality assurance requirements for strategic suppliers

    Seib, Bob
    The purpose of this project is to analyze Supply Chain Management standards and principles, focusing on Supplier Quality Assurance practices and programs that will contribute to the prompt and reliable delivery of high quality products at the least cost. The scope of this project will include procurement criteria and quality requirements for strategic suppliers of raw materials that affect the company's materials life cycle costs. The primary project deliverable is a Supplier Manual proposal that provides a comprehensive perfonnance plan for communicating and implementing the expectations, requirements, and goals for a supplier's continuous value improvement process.
  • Plan for increasing employee involvement in the utilities industry

    Thomas, Neil K.
    A research of current literature on the subject of employee involvement and participative management was carried out. Human resource consulting firms specializing in employee involvement programs for utilities were solicited for data and information. Telephone contacts, personal interviews, and solicitation of printed information were made to several large utilities that presently have employee involvement programs in their organizations. The result of this research was a description of the cultural change required, organizational components required for success, and various employee involvement programs available. Case studies of utilities with various programs were made from published and corporate literature. The result is an action plan that can be used by utilities to introduce employee involvement programs.
  • Investigation of awarding university credit to veterans for military experience

    Salee, Joseph C.
    Veterans at the University of Southern Indiana have expressed some concerns about the policy of awarding credit for their military experience. Under the current policy, veterans are awarded eight hours of academic credit, and in many cases some of that credit cannot be applied to fulfillment of graduation requirements. This report examines the University Core Curriculum (UCC), compares military experience to the intent of the UCC, and proposes a change in policy to accommodate veterans by assessing their military experience.
  • Failure mode analysis and recommendations for improvement of PDS approach to product and process change management at Fram Filtration

    Simms, John E.
    Fram Filtration, a global supplier of engine filtration products, currently employs a cross functional team approach to product and process change management referred to as PDS (Product Development System). Currently, PDS is too slow and inaccurate-in its execution of product and process changes which have led to customer dissatisfaction and unrealized revenue. The objectives of this investigation were to identify the causes of these problems and offer recommendations to improve or eliminate them. Using a system failure mode and effect analysis, a list of potential causes to the problems being investigated was created. Next, the thirty six cross functional team members within PDS were polled to determine by their experience which of these potential causes is most frequently observed and thus can be considered contributing root causes. Through this method, it was discovered there is no singular root cause of dysfunction to PDS, but rather a series of actions and inactions by its users which interact to produce the outward problems being studied. Given the causes that were identified, eight independent recommendations for improvement were offered. Two of the recommendations constituted changes at the organizational level whereas the remaining six dealt with administrative changes and improvements to PDS itself. Ultimately it was concluded that although PDS is robust on the surface, its success is highly dependent on a disciplined approach to its use as well as buy-in and participation by executive management.
  • Fiber core conversion for Alcoa, Inc.'s, Warrick operations Ecoat Line supplied to the Warrick super slitter

    Vidmar, Joseph J.
    When processing coated aluminum sheet, the fiber core plays a significant part in the cost effectiveness of the end product. The fiber core can either lead to significant losses due to rework or scrap if not designed correctly for the process application. This paper uses the decision made in 1996 to convert to HSM-l fiber cores for the tight-line slitters at Warrick Operations to convert the material produced off the Warri??k Super Slitter back to the regular strength fiber core. A description of slitting and winding theory is included in the paper. This helps support the conclusion that through the utilization� of a looping pit, that the Super Slitter is able to deliver a more consistent rewind tension across the face of the mandrel. This in tum lea??s to the ability to reduce the strength requirements of the fiber cores used on the Super Slitter in tum reducing the processing cost of the E Coat material.

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