Ingenium Technologies

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Ingenium Technologies Completes Aerospace Component Process Engineering Project

Published: Tuesday, July 08, 2014, 08:56:06 AM

Ingenium Technologies recently completed an eight week process re-engineering effort at an aerospace electro-mechanical component manufacturer. Faced with high fallout rates and inconsistent production output, senior management decided they needed an outside perspective and sought Ingenium’s support. A team of Ingenium manufacturing engineering, quality, and project management professionals was formed and turned loose on the project.

“Our first step was to document the existing process sequence. We needed to compare the existing process instructions to what was actually happening” says Jim Hoyt, Senior Operations Consultant at Ingenium. “As we suspected, we found numerous cases of undocumented process steps, some major, some more subtle. The technical support staff was unaware of the “black magic” tweaking that the technicians performed” per Hoyt.

As Ingenium further delved into the problem, it became clear that the assembly and test technicians were attempting, on their own, to improve the performance of the units. “Each technician had their own way of doing things” says John Hahn, Principal Operations Consultant. “The variability of process, coupled with some design challenges, created a unpredictable production situation.”

Ingenium performed a Process Failure and Effects Mode Analysis (PFMEA) on the product. Using the PFMEA data, the Ingenium team prioritized and implemented both design and process standardization activities. “We needed to knock down the highest risk items first. Depending on the failure mode, we put changes in place that either reduced the frequency, increased the detectability, or reduced the severity of potential defects” highlighted John. “Our primary focus was to control the processes and eliminate the causes of variation.”

Ingenium then designed and implemented an assembly and test cell dedicated to the product. Over 20 custom tools and fixtures were introduced that minimized the possibility of assembly variation. “Each workstation was designed for the task at hand” says Brian Thoren, Ingenium Technologist. “The assembly technicians had everything they need and nothing more. By design, we effectively mandated that the work would be done the right way, and exactly the same way.”

As well, Ingenium developed a web-based process instruction system. Based on a platform similar to Wikipedia, the on-screen process sequence instructions are hot-linked to digital photos, drawings, tool designs, and detailed sub-procedures.

“The results turned out great” says John. “Our customer is very pleased with the increase in production output and reduction in test rejects that the cell provides. The manufacturer indicated that the new cell and the web based documentation system will be their standard going forward.”

Ingenium Technologies is a fast growing, privately held company headquartered in Rockford, Illinois. A leader in product design and analysis, testing, and manufacturing, Ingenium serves the aerospace, medical, and industrial markets. For more information visit www.ingeniumtech.com.

 

 

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