12/8/2023
By Joyce Yeung

Manufacturing 2,400 chassis in 18 months, clear of defects and errors

MORryde International (Elkhart, Indiana) manufactures innovative suspension systems and aftermarket products for the recreational vehicle (RV) industry. It is an industry leader in motorhome and towable RV suspension systems that works closely with OEMs to design and engineer solutions. 

Founded in 1966, MORryde is a family-owned business with nearly 1,000 employees who work across 13 plants.

The company had a few tedious quality issues in its suspension drivelines resulting from improper fastener tightening. Initially, it sought a point solution for torque control. However, through its investigation, it found Pico MES, which resolved the quality problem and opened the doors to much more.

Challenges

Reinstallation of drive shafts on modified suspension is a complex, multi-step operation. When adding new technicians to this station, MORryde noticed a problem - there was inadequate torque control for critical fasteners.

The root cause of this quality issue was the reliance on hands-on experience, paper-based work instructions, and tribal knowledge.

Greg Whitt, Process Improvement Engineer, holds an example of their paper-based work instructions.

 

Greg Whitt, Process Improvement Engineer, said, "Most of our work instructions have been hard copy travelers for a very long time. Our operations need to be better documented."

After implementing Pico MES, Whitt discovered that their assembly lines were gaining efficiencies from the new controls, measures, and instructions.

 

Solutions

MORryde implemented Pico MES and connected the system to torque tools for its driveline assemblies. Driven by process data embedded in the work order's instructions, the system guides the operator to the correct fastener location, activates the tool to provide the correct torque, validates the applied torque, stores the data for each fastener, and then disables the torque tool when completed.

The software highlights which fastener is not properly torqued. Simple guidance like this makes error-proofing easy.

 

The digital work instructions guides every step in the process. In the background, Pico MES logs the actions taken and the time to complete them for both traceability and process improvement. 

Following the successful driveline implementation, MORryde expanded its deployment of Pico MES. In 18 months, it has connected 20 workstations with over 500 digitized processes, creating a digital thread for data collection and continuous improvement.

A view of MORryde’s workstations in Pico MES; factory operators log into their workstations and follow the digital worker guidance to begin assembly.

 

Outcomes in 18 months

  • 2,400 chassis produced, defect-free 
  • 500+ assembly processes migrated from paper to digital
  • 50% increase in output for TV mount assembly line
  • 100% backwards traceability
  • 100% integration with ERP system

Eliminating the fastener torque issue was a long-awaited win for Whitt. But, the biggest advantage is that their factory operations now have a baseline for improvement. Whitt said, "[Before Pico MES] we didn't have feedback loops for production rates. The only way to uncover the inaccuracies in our work plans would have been through labor-intensive time studies. Now, there's so much information from a time study standpoint and from having a feedback loop of how production is actually going on the floor.” 

When combined with efficiency gains from digital work instructions for the operators, MORryde shares that the ROI is fairly immediate. "Pico MES starts paying for itself right out of the box. There is an immediate value-add with data collection and operator instructions," said Whitt. One example he cited is the time for the technicians to refamiliarize themselves with a specific assembly process amongst many variations. As soon as Pico MES' operator instructions were in place, MORryde recovered nearly all of that non-value-added time.

 

Closing Thoughts 

Whitt said, "We now ask the question, 'Where else can we use Pico MES?'" That line of thinking has MORryde investigating alternative applications for Pico MES, such as quality control inspections and preventative maintenance.

"I'm a Pico fan. I think it's a fantastic, much-needed tool," Whitt concluded.

Hear MORryde share more about their experience in this video.