Many people do not realize that LSI works prevalently in quality control systems for the air conditioning and refrigeration business; nor do people realize that LSI has significant mechanical design and mechanical installation management capability. This blog highlights how these two groups of engineers worked with a customer to move manufacturing capacity from one site to another.
LSI has been working with a major air conditioning manufacturer for many years in doing manufacturing quality control systems and had used LSI’s” MQCS” product in many applications. You can learn more about MQCS here. This manufacturer is moving some manufacturing from a current US site to a site in Mexico and asked LSI for assistance. LSI had already built charge equipment and implemented MQCS software for the US plant.
There were 4 production lines running in the US and since the company didn’t want to shut down one of these lines, a new line would need to be designed and delivered to the Mexico site. The idea was to have one line up and running in Mexico, then move the other lines as needed, so that no manufacturing capacity was lost. The challenges were many:
- Coordination between US and Mexico based engineering and quality control departments
- Old Run test procedures had been developed in a Dbase III format and needed to be migrated to SQL as efficiently as possible
- The manufacturing capacity needed to be increased to satisfy some more stringent requirements and additional test procedures
- The manufacturing capacity and extra run test stations needed to fit in the same or smaller footprint than the lines in the US
- The schedule was tight and the end user’s engineering resources were limited to complete the project in the time allotted
LSI performed the following tasks for the project to solve the challenges outlined above:
- Developed an import utility for the old Dbase III database that allowed LSI and the end customer retain all of their current test procedures. No re-development was necessary for the legacy products and test procedures associated with them
- LSI built 5 new refrigerant charge stations, along with 5 auto run test stations for the new line
- LSI redesigned the framing structure to allow the product to be rotated and have multiple operations performed at the same station which allowed for more capacity in a smaller physical footprint
- LSI designed and built these stations in a modular format so that they could be easily reassembled in the plant, once the stations were built and shop tested. This allowed for a faster installation/commissioning time
- Customized the MQCS software for both the US and Mexico site to accommodate the new testing requirements
LSI was able to perform this project ahead of schedule and under budget. The customer actually was able to make a pilot run on this line in 80% of the time allotted and the line is scheduled to be online sooner than expected. The customer has committed to further work with LSI as a result of this successful project, which includes the 4 additional lines’ relocation to Mexico and the interface of the MQCS software to SAP; which is being rolled out in multiple locations.
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