Original Date: 07/09/2007
Revision Date: / /
Best Practice : On-Site Engineering
Inpro/Seal has implemented a streamlined and robust engineering design-to-production process that consistently manufactures and ships custom-designed bearing isolators the same day that requirements reach the design shop. Inpro/Seal has reached monthly production in excess of 40,000 units, more than 90% of which are solitary or single-digit-unit production runs.
The Inpro/Seal Company of Rock Island, Illinois, is a leading producer of bearing isolators for rotating equipment. Inpro/Seal achieves incredible turnaround times and a growing customer base by providing same-day design and shipping service for more than 30% of its orders for virtually any bearing isolator requirement. This robust process begins with identification of bearing isolator requirements and associated application data provided to the engineering team through either a Web-based questionnaire (Figure 2-1), person-to-person interface with one of more than 20 national and international sales representatives, or a direct phone call to the Rock Island, Illinois, manufacturing facility. One of a team of four engineers then determines whether a design already exists (possibly for the same customer), an existing design can be modified, or a new design must be created. Using Solidworks software, the necessary design is finalized – often in a matter of 30 minutes or less. If the design is new, a “typical” drawing is forwarded to a sales representative who sends it to the customer for final approval. Once customer approval is received, engineering then forwards it to the production floor.
Solidworks offers a quantum improvement over previously used AutoCAD, permitting much faster design completion and verification by the engineering team. This in turn quickly sets the stage for same-day manufacturing and shipping. Physical proximity and easy access to the engineers by production personnel also reduces potential confusion and enables rapid correction of rare design errors.
While the engineering design process appears to be as rapid as currently possible, Inpro/Seal continues to study new ways to improve its already impressive design-to-production process.
Figure 2-1. Inpro/Seal Request for Quote
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