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Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2024

Project Type

Senior Design


Industrial and Systems Engineering

Degree Name

Bachelors in Industrial and Systems Engineering


Industrial and Systems Engineering

Committee Chair/First Advisor

Dr. Adeel Khalid


Great South Metals (GSM) operates two steel slitter machines, which take large coils of flat rolled steel and cut them into smaller strips for use in customers’ applications. Setting up the working components of each machine, called the slitter head, is a precise and arduous task. This system relies on several manually performed calculations and acute attention to detail; and thus, is prone to human error. The management at GSM commissioned our team to simplify the slitter head assembly process by creating an automated computer program and make additional recommendations to improve their operations.

The program we created is a macro-based Microsoft Excel spreadsheet that accepts the customer’s desired widths of cut and outputs a printable picklist of the required tooling and shim sizes for the job. This tool reduces the time required to calculate the required tooling by ten minutes or more. Additionally, the calculator is one hundred percent accurate in its calculations. This spreadsheet utilizes a graphical user interface for improved user experience, boosting adoption by GSM employees.

Though the calculator removes defects in determining the tooling required for a job, selecting and installing individual tooling components that are themselves unlabeled and stored on disorganized racks presents another opportunity for improvement. Based on the concept of Poka Yoke, our team designed custom 3D printed end caps for the existing racks that have clear labels and include features to help determine the size of components to reduce the likelihood of an operator selecting incorrect components. These end caps help ensure pieces are returned to their correct location and the user selects the correct size when building out a slitter head.

Recognizing that a cluttered and dirty workspace can hinder performance, our team utilized 5S methodology to recommend several improvements to GSM work centers. Old tooling components are stored near active ones, tooling components and hand tools are not well organized, there’s lots of clutter around the work areas, and dirty shims and machines are difficult to work with. Cleanliness and organization standards should be implemented and sustained to improve efficiency.

Lastly, our team performed an ergonomic analysis on the 48-inch line and recommends changes to the current station layout. Relocating the shim storage rack and rotating the tooling rack to reduce bending and twisting movements for the operator. These changes can reduce the risk of repetitive motion injuries for operators and reduce fatigue, reducing the likelihood of mistakes in the head-building process.

Team MetalWorks FDR Presentation ISYE Group 3 (Non Commentated).pptx (26300 kB)
Final Powerpoint Presentation

Metalworks Expo Poster.pptx (4513 kB)
Poster Presented during the design expo

Team MetalWorks Slitter Head Building Optimization .mp4 (259230 kB)
Video summary of the project