Lean Manufacturing Improvements for Rapid Manufacturing

Photo of Dustin Bruce, Kenneth Darby, DiegoVillasana Students: Dustin Bruce, Kenneth Darby, DiegoVillasana

Sponsor: Harvest Technologies

Date: Fall 2008

The three tasks are focused on the common goal of optimizing the broad Harvest Technologies manufacturing process. Each task has a unique set of requirements and constraints. The Process Optimization objective requires a digital solution capable of reducing data logging time by 75% as well as a means to prioritize and schedule prost-processing. The Statistical Process Control (SPC) must offer continuous, uninterrupted, and accurate process control using statistical methods similar to those currently implemented at Harvest Technologies. The Troubleshooting Database must log and save machine maintenance information and automatically query from its references. All three tasks require the development of software to achieve the expected results. These tools must be developed using platforms familiar to Harvest Technologies' employees.

This project requires the development of software based, digital solutions to optimize project management, to create a means to facilitate continuous statistical process control, and develop a troubleshooting database for the sponsor's selective laser sintering (SLS®) manufacturing operation.

To enhance the current digital project management, the scheduling tool supports the post-processing tasks. In addition to this tool, a digital solution to the current manual data logging process has been implenmented. The solution includes use of a barcode scanner. The SPC tool is installed as a MS Excel add-in and comprises six functions built to execute specific SPC oriented tasks. An interactive database was designed to address the non-productive time associated with troubleshooting the SLS® machines at Harvest Technologies.

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