P13458: Dresser-Rand Compressor Cell Assembly Line

Layout Design

Table of Contents

Layout Design


Dresser-Rand provided the team with the dimensions for the new shop area where they want to implement the new flowing assembly line.

It was up to the team to take dimensions of each station and equipment used in each station that would need to be transferred to the new area. Layout constraints were noted, such as pillars and jib crane coverage locations, inventory placement, and general layout efficiency. Some of the current stations take up too much space and do not fit the ideal work space available in the new area. One of the team’s tasks was to minimize the stations’ footprints without overstepping the constraints such as safety space and over-crowdedness. Other challenges the team has come across while planning the layout are easy inventory replenishment locations/placement and and accessibility to tools and equipment. From the basic dimensions and stations provided by Dresser-Rand shown in the chart, the team took dimensions of the stations and equipment required and drew out a scaled model of the stations in the new layout. To counter space and accessibility issues, the team made a cardboard scaled model of the layout and interacted with the people at Dresser-Rand that were working on the layout. The cardboard model idea was used to provide a flexible means to communicate with management. They were able to collaborate on the ideal layout and it was our task going forward to test it and make it happen.

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Preliminary CAD Layout as of 2/19/13

Above is a scaled representation of the floor components on the new process area. Below is a cardboard model of the above floor plan. The purpose of this was to allow easy strategic placement of stations on the floor and to have interactive feedback from Dresser-Rand.

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Layout Factors Selection Process & Rankings

Factors and rankings were created with the sole purpose of enhancing decision making during layout selections. The table below shows the different factors considered and rankings given to them.

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Then the team rated the four layouts using a 1-4 multiplier scale based on how well the layout met the different factors. The final results for the factors versus the four layouts are the sum of the factor ranking*multiplier.

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Layout Factors Selection Outcome/Summary

The designs are broken down into two types of designs which include straight line process layouts (layout A & layout B) and U-Shaped layout designs (Layout C & layout D). Traditional straight line designs are more fundamentally space consuming than the lean U-shaped designs, but also allow for more space at each station. The purpose of creating two types of designs is to compare them relative to one another and their performance for the required tasks. The layout design with the highest points is layout C. Layout C has a well balanced distributions of weights of factors, as seen in the graphs. Compared to the layout that has second place which has a few high peaks and some low points across its factors, layout C has a better spread of overall averages and the factors that scored low on layout C do not carry much weight.

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Then the team rated each of the four above layouts on a 1-4 multiplier scale based on how well that layout met the factor on hand. The results for the factors versus the four layouts are shown in the next section, representing the ranking*multiplier.

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Layout Designs

Below are layout designs created by the team where the new compressor model will be assembled using the newly designed material handling mechanism. Each layout has an arrow indicating the process flow. There will be minimal inventory on the floor since the takt is going to be one job per day. The team is assuming one day of large-part inventory and up to a week of small-part inventory will be sufficient enough for each station. Workstation inventories called kits will be replenished from the main inventory without difficulty. Each station is labelled and we have 5 work stations, a few sub -assembly stations, 2 test bays and a shipping dock at each layout design. The components of each design are the same, the only thing that changes is where each item/component is placed. The only difference between layout C-1 and C-2 is the direction of process flow.

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Layout Testing: 3P Event

The team used a 3P approach in testing the layouts with cardboard to replicate exact dimensions of actual machines and equipment required at each station. The objective of the 3P event was to have operators and management test in real space the factors originally used to rank the layouts. The layout used for the event was Layout C-2, which is the one chosen by Dresser-Rand as the best layout. This exercise provided feedback on improvements and changes required. Score cards were given to every participant to score the factors. After the exercise was completed, the data collected from participants were used to verify the team’s initial theoretical score table for the U-shaped layouts. The end result of the 3P event was the re-arrangement of several main station components and sub-assembly locations on the layout. The evaluations from the score cards verified the theoretical values. Overall, the 3P event on the new shop layout was a success. Dresser-Rand can move forward in their development process with a tested and approved layout that supports the goals of their project.

3P Event Notes

See the Final Design & Recommendations page for further design of the layout.

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3P Event: Cardboard and tape marking out footprints of stations, the compressor, and equipment.

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3P Event: Cardboard representation of the compressor on an air pallet.

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