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ISE student makes impact during Chrysler internship

Friday, March 15, 2013
ISE student makes impact during Chrysler internship

Daniel Tunis, a senior Industrial and Systems Engineering student at Oakland University, helped Chrysler make big strides improving stamping plant efficiency during his internship.

According to Tunis, the company had an issue with changing dies in a stamping plant.  "Warren Stamping Plant is a large stamping facility, consisting of 12 large presses and 3 progressive presses.  Each press undergoes a die change several times a day.  During these changes, the dies as well as tooling to transfer parts between presses need to be changed,” Tunis said.

Tunis’ goal is to improve the die change process in order to decrease the time to complete it, thus saving money.  "I was tasked with working on Line 3, which is an extra-large tandem press.  When I started my project, the line was averaging 78 minutes to complete a die change."

The first step that Tunis took was to observe the original die change process and collect data.  "With this data, we selected a team from both management and hourly workers to attack the loss.  We developed countermeasures to eliminate each item that was causing a loss during the die-set.  These countermeasures ranged from doing proper maintenance on the machine to retrofitting all of the tooling,” Tunis said.  The result of this project was to decrease the time to complete a die change from 78 minutes to current average is 20 minutes, with the final goal being less than 5 minutes.

Tunis believes the team's greatest achievement was automating the process of adding and removing the sunroof trim for the Dodge Ram and Jeep Grand Cherokee roof dies.  “That process initially took 45 minutes and was labor intensive, but they are now able to do it in a matter of seconds without any human interaction," Tunis said.

After completing these continuous improvement projects, Tunis presented the team's results at one of the plant's World Class Manufacturing audits.

“This is a huge event, as it showcases how on track the plant is to becoming a World Class Manufacturing plant.  I presented my project to the auditors, Chrysler's General Manager of Stamping as well as several other engineers, managers and executives from corporate,” Tunis said.  According to Tunis, the audience was surprised that an intern could make such improvements in just four months.

Robert Van Til, Chair of the Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE) Department, said of the internship, "Dan, as well as several of his ISE classmates, have done an excellent job of showing Chrysler the capabilities of our students.  We appreciate that Chrysler has, and continues to offer, Oakland ISE students these internship opportunities."

Tunis advises students to "go for it" during their internship.