• Industrial Engineering

    Industrial Engineering

    Facility design based on world-class, lean operations models to achieve productivity, sustainability, and future capacity requirements. Read More
  • Supply Chain Development

    Supply Chain Development

    Aligning the company's supply-side partnerships with its demand-side customer relationships to achieve seamless harmony through the supply chain. Read More
  • Software Development

    Software Development

    Interfacing with ERP using tools such as AngularJS, .NET, PHP, and MeteorJS to simplify user-facing production and supply-chain systems. Read More
  • Product Cost Management

    Product Cost Management

    Modeling product cost and developing market-driven, goal-based project plans to meet future profit margin and quality requirements. Read More
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Software Development

Interfacing with ERP using tools such as AngularJS, .NET, PHP, and MeteorJS to simplify user-facing production and supply-chain systems.

Product Cost Management

Modeling product cost and developing market-driven, goal-based project plans to meet future profit margin and quality requirements.

Industrial Engineering

Facility design based on world-class, lean operations models to achieve productivity, sustainability, and future capacity requirements.

Supply Chain Development

Aligning the company's supply-side partnerships with its demand-side customer relationships to achieve seamless harmony through the supply chain.

Completion of XILINX Engineering Lab

Overview:

DCI designed a new engineering lab to accommodate growth in the SERDES Product Engineering group, 4,000 square-feet in total, built in three phases to prevent productivity losses during current-space renovation. Primary project objectives were doubling bench capacity, improvements in wire management, reduced acoustical noise levels, and improvements in Electrostatic Discharge prevention.

The Challenges:

There were several challenges on this project:

Wire Management: Over time, the addition of new equipment began to overwhelm the existing bench designs. Overloaded circuits and tripping breakers was a common occurrence and routing of power and network cables over coolant hoses and Clean Dry Air (CDA) tubing became a serious Health and Safety issue.

DCI introduced a design whereby all utilities were dropped from the ceiling into new benches with integrated wire management features. Power outlets were provisioned by PDUs, also built into the benches for simplified routing. Network outlets, also built into the benches, provided ease of connectivity and each outlet was wired directly to the central switch for security purposes, eliminating a multitude of individual, insecure, switches. Shelves were all ESD laminate for the highest level of protection for the newest generation of 9nm designs.

before after

Acoustical Noise Levels: Noise levels were commonly too high for safe and comfortable working, so much so that the technical staff normally wore headphones in the lab to dampen the noise. The primary noise sources were CDA hissing from un-terminated tubing and air-cooled heat exchangers within the coolant chillers.

Because testing is performed at temperatures below the dew point of the lab, a CDA shroud is used to protect the test fixtures and devices under test from condensation. With proper set-ups, all the CDA tubing is terminated and the noise levels are minimal. However, proper set-up and wind-down of the test sessions were very labor-intensive and hence, not usually done. Ergo, hissing gas tubing all over the lab with detrimental health and safety effects, not to mention the cost of wasting the CDA.

DCI designed a CDA plumbing arrangement for each of the 38 new benches that allowed for a single toggle switch for turning on or off the CDA to the test fixtures. Two setups were allowed per bench as shown below.

cda plumbing diagramFigure 1: CDA Plumbing Improvements

The other source of noise was the air-cooling fans on the heat exchangers for the individual chillers assigned to the benches. The lab had about a dozen of these chillers, so when the noise (and heat) from the air cooling combined, the result was impressively loud, not to mention the additional load on the HVAC system. To solve this problem, DCI recommended a retrofit to water-cooled heat exchangers and, in the new lab design, chilled water is delivered directly to each chiller. Since the client’s facility had an ample capacity for chilled water production, this improvement involved plumbing costs and the chillers were then whisper-quiet.

Additional Deliverables:

Additional deliverables included facility designs and accompanying CAD files, a project move sequencing plan, specifications for new benches and CDA plumbing, utility requirements for Power, Networking, Clean Dry Air, and Chilled Coolant loops for chillers that serviced coolant to test fixtures.

Construction is nearly complete now and additional photos will be added when available.

DCI on Twitter

Consulting Approach

DeHart Consulting is unique among manufacturing management consulting firms in that we use a team-based approach in the vast majority of our assignments.  We have found over the years that results are much better when the client's personnel are brought into the work early and when key client stakeholders are involved with our lean manufacturing consultants. While this approach requires an investment of time from the client, it increases overall commitment and a buy-in that paves the way for the implementation of the work. 

It also provides a positive work environment, which is productive and essential to the overall effectiveness of any industrial engineering project and the success of our clients. This is especially the case in lean manufacturing consulting assignments where the result of the work requires considerable change management.

Experience and Background

DeHart Consulting has conducted operations and supply chain strategy, facility design, and business process re-engineering engagements in industries as varied as semiconductors and sporting goods, but the vast majority of our manufacturing management consulting experience is in the electronics and photonics space.  DeHart Consulting's consultants have designed lean manufacturing, focused factories for the assembly of photonic amplifiers, assembled supply chains for high-volume electronic sub-assemblies, and created software for the implementation of demand-pull materials management systems. 

The thread running through this body of work is our belief that the success of any consulting firm is pinned to the success of its clients and we strive to help them out-learn and outperform their competitors.  We have found that when companies couple their internal manufacturing operations knowledge to our external lean manufacturing consulting knowledge, great things result!