Shaft Manufacturing Process Improvement

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Wood, Brett
Collier, Gabe
Husack, Paul
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Team 16 has designed a dedicated manufacturing cell to produce the three types of reel drive shafts used in MacDon’s combine headers. The new cell features a CNC lathe capable of machining discs and shafts, as well as a custom welding solution, leaving laser cutting, pressing and painting processes in their current locations. Both an automated and manual handling configuration of the cell were designed. Team 16 proposes MacDon implement the automated handling cell based on the analyses performed which provides a payback period of 2.15 years and will save MacDon $2.3M over a period of 10 years. MacDon Industries Ltd. Tasked the team with designing a process improvement for the manufacturing of reel drive shafts used in MacDon’s combine headers. The current manufacturing system for reel drive shafts requires excessive part movement through production facility as well as high amounts of work in progress. The objective of the Shaft Manufacturing Process Improvement project was to design an improved process which reduces part movement, work in progress and non-value-added time. Deliverables to the client include a process layout, bill of materials and manufacturing schedule. Through concept development and internal research performed during site visits at MacDon’s facility, the team’s final design groups three of the required drive shaft processes together, reducing unit movement by 51% and limiting work in progress to 54 units. The design also includes a new transport cart designed by MacDon for moving work in progress during production. Production analysis using the new manufacturing schedule shows that the new process utilizing the manufacturing cell can produce the daily demand of 54 reel drive shafts after 13.8 hours of operation, leaving approximately 2 hours of extra capacity based on two 8-hour shifts per day.