student working on senior design project

Industrial and Entrepreneurial Engineering and Engineering Management

  • Fall 2023

    Presentations will be held at Floyd Hall in room D-208. You can also watch via Webex (meeting number: 2632 544 6398 password: broncoengineer).

    Investigation into Process Improvements and Automation

    10 to 10:25 a.m.

    Team Members:
    Abdul Al Kiyumi
    Kaden Jacobson
    Theisshanth Muralidharan

    Sponsor:
    Robert Doran, B.S.E.’22, Sigma Machining 

    Faculty Advisors:
    Dr. Lee Wells
    Dana Hammond

    The growing demand for electric vehicles (EV) and associated components has increased the need to enhance related manufacturing processes. To address the increased demand, industrial engineering tools, including man-machine charts, process flow diagrams, and insightful employee interviews were used to analyze the current flow of material for specific EV components.  Additionally, a review of alternatives and cost analysis led to recommendations to streamline the production processes. As a result, the proposed recommendations offer improved productivity through a reduction in overtime and increase in throughput.

    Optimizing a Facility Expansion

    10:30 to 10:55 a.m.

    Team Members:
    Amanda Kosasih
    Noah Tanguay
    Tyler Braet

    Sponsor:
    Jason Woodard, Geislinger Corporation

    Faculty Advisors:
    Dr. Azim Houshyar
    Dr. Bob White

    Geislinger Corporation is a leading manufacturer of dampers and couplings for high-powered vehicles. Geislinger is expanding its Battle Creek facility by 28,000 square feet. Using IE flow optimization techniques, a layout that maximizes cost-effectiveness and material flow was created. The data-driven approach included a well thought out and comprehensive cost analysis of the additional machinery and equipment relocation for the projected layout. With this information, Geislinger can make informed, strategic decisions as they embark on their facility expansion in 2025.

  • Spring 2023

    Presentations will be held at Floyd Hall in room D-212.

     

    Business Plan for a Center of Excellence in Materials Science and Physical Research

    9 to 9:25 a.m.

    Team members

    • Trevor Dendel
    • Fares Khaberi
    • Gaby Polit

    Sponsor

    • Brian Montgomery, Bronco Construction Research Center

    Faculty advisor

    • Azim Houshyar, Ph.D.
    • Bob White, Ph.D.

    With college enrollment declining, there is an increased need for colleges to provide innovative and industry-based research opportunities to attract and retain students. The development of a materials science and physical research center at Western Michigan University (WMU) would allow students to practice technical skills and gain hands-on experience. Applying engineering economic analysis principles, the plan will detail operating and startup costs, cashflows, and overall profitability of the facility. This project includes a proposed layout for necessary equipment to support the center’s anticipated research areas. The Bronco Construction Research Center’s director will submit to the state of Michigan for funding.


    A  Comprehensive Model of Battery Swapping for BEVS

    9:30 to 9:55 a.m.

    Project team

    • Khalil Dia
    • Aarush Gupta
    • Taleen Kawouk

    Sponsor

    • Audi Kalamazoo

    Faculty advisors

    • Azim Houshyar, Ph.D.
    • Bob White, Ph.D.

    As Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) become more prevalent, and lithium battery technology continues to demonstrate limitations, the concept of batter swapping stations was explored as an alternative to fast charging.  The team developed a simulation that determines the feasibility and operation of battery swapping stations along route US-101 from Los Angeles to San Francisco. This was done by using Inventory, cost, and optimum location analysis. The model shows the benefits of battery swapping by reducing cost to consumers and manufacturers, while reducing the harmful environmental impact of BEVs.


    Optimized Material Flow of Woodshop Through layout Redesign 

    10 to 10:25 a.m.

    Team members

    • Echo Sorensen
    • Jason Thayer
    • Madison Wegner

    Sponsor

    • Jerimiah West, Landscape Forms

    Faculty advisors

    • Azim Houshyar, Ph.D.
    • Bob White, Ph.D.

    A local outdoor furniture company has experienced a continued increase in demand for products and is concerned with the functionality of their woodshop. To improve material flow and worker utilization, the team tracked worker movements, conducted stakeholder interviews, and analyzed an equipment utilization study. Multiple layouts were developed and analyzed using simulation software and layout optimization software while considering company constraints. Based on an economic analysis, cost-effective layouts concerning short-, medium-, and long-term change have been created with the goal of sustaining company growth.


    Layout Redesign of industrial Door Production Cell

    10:30 to 10:55 a.m.

    Team members

    • Andres A. Blaubach
    • Nick Seurynck
    • Collin Monville

    Sponsors

    • Jonathan Shay, B.S.’21, Senneca Holdings

    Faculty advisors

    • Ilgin Acar, Ph.D.
    • Tycho Fredericks, Ph.D.

    Senneca Holdings Corporation is a high-mix-low-volume manufacturer of specialty doors. Production cells within the facility were below management standards and had a high volume of material handling. Spatial constraints were considered when developing an optimized layout for the production cell. ProModel Simulation, VIP-PlanOpt software, and facilities logistics planning methods were explored to optimize the layout, subject to the project constraints. The final layout decreased material handling while increasing space utilization. The ergonomic design accommodated workers and decreased risk factors, thus decreasing employee injuries and turnover.


    Improving Inventory Management by Redesigning Control System and Layout

    11 to 11:25 a.m.

    Team members

    • Averil Crocker
    • Emily Mouat
    • Noor Tufail

    Sponsors

    • Rob Irby, Reyes Coca Cola Bottling

    Faculty advisors

    • Azim Houshyar, Ph.D.
    • Bob White, Ph.D.

    Reyes Coca Cola Bottling wants to improve inventory processes and manage raw material inventory. Historical data including demand of various beverages, shelf life of ordered material, and daily production rates was analyzed to design an inventory management system, which considers lead times and reduces the occurrences of excess stock in inventory. Facility layout optimization techniques, in conjunction with the updated inventory management system, provide a method to manage storage space more efficiently.


    Analysis of an Aseptic Manufacturing System

    11:30 to 11:55 a.m.

    Team members

    • Matthew Baker
    • Bridgitt Cornish
    • Caleb Norder

    Sponsors

    • Jason Cassiday, Pfizer
    • Robyn Cornish, B.S.’98, Pfizer 

    Faculty advisor

    • Azim Houshyar, Ph.D.
    • Bob White, Ph.D.

    Pfizer is the global leader in vaccine production. Each injectable product manufactured includes a rubber stopper to seal every vial transported worldwide. Various vial capacity scenarios were investigated to determine if Pfizer’s process for sterilizing and utilizing stoppers could be improved. The investigation used flow charts, value stream mapping, and simulation to determine equipment and facility requirements and utilization. A cost analysis investigated the economic attractiveness of implementing various capacity alternatives. The analysis will enable Pfizer to more effectively utilize plant resources to meet varying demand.

  • Fall 2022

    Industrial and Entrepreneurial Engineering
    Session Chair – Dana Hammond
    Room D-212

    Understanding CNC capacity through production time estimation

    Student team: Kaitlin Bluhm, Patrick Shoemaker and Slava Vorobyov
    Sponsor: Benjamin Pitsch, Miguel Santos, Charles Washburn and Zachary Yambrach, Landscape Forms Inc.
    Faculty Advisors: Jim Burns, Ph.D., and Lee Wells, Ph.D.
    11 a.m. – 11:25 a.m.

    Recent disruptions in the labor and material markets have emphasized the importance of machine utilization. For high-mix, low volume manufacturers especially, accurate estimates for production times are necessary to decrease wasted resources and reduce product lead times. For this project, machine run-time, set-up time, and product characteristics were studied and incorporated into a mathematical capacity model. The capacity model was integrated into Excel to assist the manufacturer in scheduling operations resulting in an increased equipment utilization, a reduction of costs, and shorter lead times.

    Video of LFI Woodshop IEE 4190 Fall 2022
  • Spring 2022

    Cost Model of Aluminum Extrusion and Processing

    Aluminum extrusion is a process that forces an aluminum billet through a die using a press, which creates a part with a desired cross-sectional profile. At the request of a company that outsources aluminum extrusion and fabrication, a cost model that accounts for the machine, labor, and other cost drivers to support make/buy decisions was built. Development included communication with existing suppliers, research of existing manufacturing models, and evaluation of historical expenses. Industrial engineering tools such as root cause analysis and Ishikawa diagrams were applied to identify the most influential cost drivers. Ultimately components from existing cost models were combined to depict on a per-part basis, expected supplier costs. This cost model will assist procurement teams to identify suitable outsourcing suppliers, processes to outsource, and the competitiveness of existing operations.

    Team members

    • Mohammed Aitzaz
    • Robet Doran
    • Brennon Pelland
    • Benjamin Sawn

    Sponsors

    • Edward Vanderbilt, Steelcase
    • John Lucius, Steelcase
    • Thomas Dawson, Steelcase

    Faculty advisor

    • Dr. Lee Wells

    Video of Cost Model of Aluminum Extrusion and Processing - Senior Design Presentation

    Trimming Room Process Improvement

    Curating cannabis is a new and growing industry in West Michigan, with many small businesses seeking to simultaneously grow market share and control costs. Ahki Canna is a new company that curates cannabis, involves the growing, drying, trimming, and packaging the product. Ahki Canna’s methodologies were studied to identify potential bottlenecks and improvement opportunities using the principles of work design and root cause analysis. The trimming process was identified as the bottleneck in operations. Applying knowledge of the cannabis industry, principles of ergonomics, and material flow, the process was improved. The recommended improvements will reduce trimming costs and improve the consistency of the finished product, thereby helping Ahki Canna maintain their competitiveness.

    Team members

    • Megan Gesler
    • Anthony Mastro
    • Conor Mulhearn

    Sponsor

    • Ahki Canna

    Faculty advisor

    • Dr. Jim Burns

    Video of Trimming Room Process Improvement - Senior Design Presentation

    Revitalization of Parkview Study Areas

    Well-designed study spaces are important to the academic, social, and physical well-being of engineering students. Improved layouts of the study areas at Parkview Campus were created utilizing principles of ergonomics, work design, and facility design to accommodate dynamic student needs. The revitalized design allows students to work more comfortably and effectively. This led to an environment more conducive to learning than the previous space, which will help promote physiological, safety, and academic needs of the students.

    Team members

    • Sophia Ehlers
    • Carlie Moon

    Sponsor

    • Dr. Matthew Cavalli, P.E., Associate Dean, WMU College of Engineering and Applied Sciences

    Faculty advisors

    • Dana Hammond
    • Dr. Jim Burns

    Video of Revitalization of Parkview Study Areas - Senior Design Presentation

    Xplore 4.0 at WMU: The Future of Manufacturing

    As industrial and manufacturing processes rapidly advance into the 21st century, WMU identified an immediate need to update the lab experience of Industrial Engineering students. Previous lab experiences relied on using hand counted inventory control, pen and paper documentation, and manual stopwatch timing methods. The completely redesigned and modernized lab allows students to build functional RC cars through a multiple step assembly process including digital timing systems, smart tooling and data tracking, real time inventory control, and imaging-based quality control checks. In collaboration with a computer science senior design team, students at the College of Engineering will now be exposed to both modern and traditional industrial practices, ensuring WMU graduates have a wider range of experience and knowledge in both manufacturing practices. The IEE team and CS team worked closely to bring the fourth industrial revolution to the classroom.

    Team members

    • Pete Stodola
    • C.J. Vaughn
    • Nicholas Wendling
    • Roman Zwierzchowski

    Sponsor

    • Western Michigan University

    Faculty advisors

    • Dr. Jim Burns
    • Dr. Lee Wells

    Video of Xplore 4.0 at WMU: The Future of Manufacturing - Senior Design Presentation

    Analysis and Improvement of Industrial Door Production

    An industrial door production supplier, Senneca Holdings, recently acquired the shipping bay screen door line from another facility. Facing bottleneck and throughput challenges, the production line required improvements to meet increasing demand. The production facility was analyzed using ergonomic assessment and time studies to create a computer simulation that tested significant variables within the production line. Combining the computer simulation, financial analysis, and other Industrial Engineering tools, a new process was developed optimizing throughput.

    Team members

    • Noah Franchak
    • Anthony Kemp
    • Josh Morris

    Sponsor

    • John Early, Senneca Holdings

    Faculty advisors

    • Dr. Azim Houshyar
    • Dr. Bob White

    Video of Analysis and Improvement of Industrial Door Production - Senior Design Presentation

    Optimization of Evaporator Tank Assembly for Scrap Reduction

    Highly repetitive manual assembly processes can lead to excess scrap caused by improper procedures. This was the case in the evaporator core side tank assembly lines at DENSO Manufacturing. Time studies, ergonomic analysis, and facility layouts were used to conclude that developing a guided jig may address the current issues best. The jig meets manufacturing requirements while assisting the operators by removing inconsistent procedures; ultimately reducing the amount of scrap produced. The design solution may be the new standard for DENSO and could later be applied to their other core tank assemble stations on different lines.

    Team members

    • Sean Ahmed
    • Tyler Skibicki
    • Logan Stover

    Sponsors

    • Chris McDermott, DENSO Manufacturing
    • Jasen Grant, DENSO Manufacturing
    • Michelle Haviland, DENSO Manufacturing

    Faculty advisors

    • Dana Hammond
    • Dr. Tycho Fredericks

    Video of Optimization of Evaporator Tank Assembly for Scrap Reduction - Senior Design Presentation

    Improving a Fluid-Air Coffee Roasting Manufacturer

    JavaMaster, a Detroit-based coffee air roaster manufacturer, entered the roasted coffee industry in early 2021. The facility’s capacity has recently been exceeded due to an increase in demand for roasted coffee. The manufacturer was evaluated utilizing root cause analysis, value-stream mapping, and facility layout methods.  Lean manufacturing techniques were introduced to further improve current operations. Facility layout optimization, implementing a quality control system for green beans and roasted coffee beans, and a demand forecasting model allowed the company to adjust to market fluctuations.

    Team members

    • Charlie Burian
    • Caroline Konstant
    • Maren Rischer

    Sponsors

    • Mark Duhaime, JavaMaster International, LLC
    • Robert Gumber, JavaMaster International, LLC
    • Larry Granger, JavaMaster International, LLC

    Faculty advisors

    • Dr. Bob White
    • Dr. Azim Houshyar