Daily Insight for August 7, 2012

Chrysler puts 3D manufacturing to the test; pharma manufacturer to expand three plants

08/07/2012


 

Using 3D to deliver a new view of manufacturing

Chrysler expands use of technology to help deliver products faster, better

 

Chrysler Group LLC is using the world of 3D to change the way it looks at planning for future products and implements World Class Manufacturing (WCM) before a single machine is built or installed.

During a speech at the Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, Mich., on Aug. 6, Chrysler Group vice president Brian Harlow said that the company has brought 3D into its upfront processes in order to prepare for the launch of two important new transmissions in Kokomo, Ind., -- the eight-speed rear-wheel drive and nine-speed front-wheel drive – as well as other new powertrain programs.

"We knew we needed a new way of working in order to get our plants in Kokomo ready at an accelerated pace," said Harlow. "By using 3D technology, we are in effect injecting the principles of WCM from the very beginning of our planning for production startups such as the ones in Kokomo."

The goal of WCM is to continuously improve performance in order to reach the objective of zero waste, which includes zero accidents, zero breakdowns, zero waste of motion and zero inventories.

Chrysler Group is utilizing a three-dimensional modeling system specifically for powertrain manufacturing to help everyone see the shop floor as it really is and not how one might imagine it is.

"We live in three dimensions, not two, so with a two dimensional drawing, you had to imagine the third dimension," said Harlow. "Engineers have good imaginations, but those imaginations don't all work the same way. If you have 10 engineers looking at a 2D drawing, they will all see it a little differently."

By turning the view, Harlow said that engineers can see the manufacturing environment, including equipment, materials and operators, as it really is. In this way, issues that may delay a program or cost money to fix are addressed even before the first piece of equipment arrives at the plant.

"Three-dimensional modeling allows us to make our actual investments as late as possible in the launch process," said Harlow. "The goal is to make the launch process as vertical as possible because this shortens the time it takes to recover our investment."

The software also has the capability of showing an exploded view of a machine. By de-contenting the machine, an operator can see all of the nuts and bolts, making it easier to understand how it goes together, maintain and repair.

"Animation is another critical aspect of the 3D programming," said Harlow. "It allows us to validate cycle times and to discover system-related issues even before the machinery is made.

"If there is a situation anywhere that compromises production, we can identify it up front in the process, something we ordinarily wouldn't know until the first day of production," continued Harlow. "Now we can be proactive. We can change cycle times by moving content or by making changes with the machine tool builder."

 

 

Amneal Phnarmaceuticals expands three U.S. plants

 

Facilities in New York, New Jersey and Kentucky part of $120 million project

 

Amneal Pharmaceuticals, LLC is investing $120 million in physical plant capital expenditures from 2012-2014 to significantly grow its operations at three of its six current U.S. R&D, manufacturing and distribution facilities. Planned site expansions and infrastructure enhancement projects will create over 500 new jobs in manufacturing, research and development, distribution and sales at Amneal locations in New York, New Jersey and Kentucky.

The facility enlargements and resulting jobs increase will generate an estimated $21 million per year in additional payroll and other benefits to local economies. The company now employs over 1,100 people in the United States.

Amneal has a portfolio of prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs across multiple therapeutic area, including pain management, cardiovascular, central nervous system, urology, dermatology, ophthalmic, women's health and diabetes.

"This major investment in our U.S. operations will more than double Amneal's production volume and add hundreds of jobs while maintaining our dedication to superior quality in our products as well as throughout our organization," said Chintu Patel, Amneal CEO. "It enables us to significantly diversify our generics portfolio, further expanding the value we provide our customers."

"We clearly understand the value of, and are fully committed to, investing and growing within the market we serve, significantly expanding our number of 'Made in the USA' products," said Amneal president Chirag Patel. "Generic pharmaceuticals ensure the lowest cost of medications to help make healthcare more affordable to all consumers."

 

Community college courses meet manufacturers’ needs

 

A new Oakland Community College credit technical program designed to train technicians in the multiple skills required in advanced manufacturing will begin in September. The courses are in response to the needs of area manufacturers.

“We have close to 200 German-owned firms in Oakland County, Michigan,” says Irene Spanos, the county’s director of economic development and community affairs.  “In Germany this cross-training has been taking place for some time now. Of the 800 foreign-owned firms already located here, the next wave in technical training here in the United States is this cross-training of mechanical engineering with electrical engineering.

“The Automotive Industry is driving this new trend with the IT boom in the automobile but we are seeing this ‘technical merging’ in other manufacturing industries as well.” Spanos added. “We are working with the employers in our region – some of the largest technology companies in the world – to ensure the workforce they need globally is qualified and trained here in Southeast Michigan.”

OCC’s Economic & Workforce Development and Engineering, Manufacturing and Technological Sciences departments will offer “Mechatronics – Integrated Skills for Advanced Manufacturing” beginning with a series of core courses equaling 35 credits, or 570 classroom hours.  Topics such as geo-algebra, industrial safety, mechanical gears and linkages, computer assisted design, applied electricity, problem solving, robotics and fluid power are covered in the core sessions. Classes are completed in five two-month components each including two to three classes, and finishing in June 2013.

Students will then be able to specialize in one of three tracks – Mechatronics & Controls (five classes – 16 credits), Fabrication & Welding (four classes – 12 credits), or Robotics & Automation (three classes – 12 credits).  Opportunities to gain supervised work experiences are part of the program.  Students may choose a customized internship, or employers may choose to develop an apprenticeship program.

 

FANUC America expands Website

FANUC FA America has launched a new website with enhanced resources, functionality and greatly expanded content: www.fanucfa.com.  The newly upgraded website features detailed information on FANUC CNCs, drive systems, laser systems and service and support.  

The expanded Industries section allows customers to focus in on a CNC solution to meet their specific requirements.  These industries include: aerospace, agriculture & construction, automotive, energy, job shop, medical, metal fabrication, metalforming, mold & die and woodworking.

The Service & Support section details ways to increase functionality and productivity, increase up-time and minimize maintenance costs with FANUC's CNC parts, options, technical help-line, field service, service contracts, custom services and training.

The new Website is located at  www.fanucfa.com.  FANUC also will be exhibiting at the IMTS 2012, Sept 10-15, at McCormick Place in Chicago at Booth S-8919.

 

New CSIA Website offers in-depth information

 

The Control System Integrators Association (CSIA), a non-profit professional association of companies that design and implement control systems for manufacturing and industrial facilities, has a new website, www.controylsys.org/client, that provides information for those who hire control system integrators.

Decision-makers in numerous industries who visit the website will discover everything they need to know, including how CSIA control system integrators serve the industry, the value of CSIA membership, certification, and lists of CSIA members with experience in the field.

“CSIA’s revamped website offers newly researched features and in-depth information for production supervisors, directors of manufacturing and many others we serve,” explains Bob Lowe, executive director of CSIA. “It’s a convenient way to learn about control system integration, and what to consider for a potential project, or how to find expert help.”

 



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