What does it take for a shiny, brand-new, state-of-the-art automobile to roll off the assembly line at a major automaker? Years of intensive research and development by top-flight engineering talent? Relentless execution and attention to detail by labor on the factory floor? Well, yes, all of those things — but it also requires a conveyor system with an assist from Autodesk Factory Design Suite software.
Enter Dearborn Mid-West Company, a provider of assembly line conveyor systems to all the major automotive manufacturers in North America. Moving a vehicle through various stages of completion quickly, efficiently and safely through a factory where a lot of people are working in close proximity is no small feat, which is why Dearborn Mid-West has been named the Autodesk August Inventor of the Month.
“We make the assembly line equipment that transfers the vehicle through the plant, through all the stages of build: from the initial welding of the sheet metal, all the way to when they drive the finished car off the line,” said Chris Hahn, a projects engineering manager at Dearborn Mid-West.
The company, which is located just outside of Detroit in Taylor, Michigan, uses Autodesk Factory Design Suite software to better create turnkey conveyor solutions for its clients. By creating a 3D model in Factory Design Suite, Dearborn Mid-West Company is able to design and communicate the most efficient manufacturing layout and quickly evaluate multiple layout scenarios to determine the best solution before any equipment is installed.
“For one client project, there was a very tight fit between two interferences that required our conveyor system to ‘thread the needle’ — there was no room for error,” said Hahn. “Factory Design Suite allowed us to see that space restraint in advance and position our equipment just right.”
Being able to identify potential interferences and clearance issues up front has kept change orders down to a minimum, which is good business for both Dearborn Mid-West Company and its customers.
Learn more about how Factory Design Suite helps Dearborn Mid-West Company improve its workflow and reduce errors in this video on the Autodesk YouTube Channel.