Structured progress

Design Systems, Inc.has developed expertise in handling projects at any stage, benefitting from its multi-disciplined engineering teams

This year, 2018, sees Design Systems, Inc. (DSI) celebrate its 35th anniversary, and what better way to get in the mood for jubilation than the announcement of the 30 per-cent growth the company has experienced over the past two years? For over three decades, DSI has been helping a wide range of industries achieve maximum productivity at their manufacturing, warehousing, logistics, and service locations. Design Systems, Inc specializes in helping its customers reduce operating cost, increase their throughput, and improve their efficiencies within their manufacturing, warehouse/ distribution and processing facilities. DSI has the engineering and program management services to offer complete ‘concept to commission’ manufacturing engineering services.

“It is the unique structure of our company that gives us a competitive edge,” DSI’s COO Dan Birchmeier states. “We have seven engineering group disciplines, which enables us to handle any manufacturing initiative by tailoring individual solutions for the customers’ specific requirements. We are globally recognized for successfully executing small continuous improvement projects, to managing multi-million dollar turnkey programs, and that is thanks to our skilled multi-disciplined groups.”

Award winners
DSI likes to measure its success by the success of each of its clients, and it seems that both parties have enjoyed good times during their relationship. DSI has maintained a client list of 85 per-cent repeat business. This speaks volumes of the confidence its customers place in the corporation, but external recognition has also been evident, as DSI has received a few prestigious awards; multiple winner of the ‘Superior performance as a supplier’ award for one of the company’s customers is the prize that stands out. In its trophy cabinet, one can also find three Chrysler Corporation ‘Quality Excellence Awards’, the Industrial Ergonomics ‘Technical Group Award’, and the ‘Outstanding achievement in Ergonomics’ award, presented by the Institute of Industrial Engineers. DSI is also the multi award winner of the Best Engineering and Consultant company of Farmington Hills award.

Numbering 300 engineers and technicians, the company’s seven engineering groups can provide its clients with the most appropriate and efficient team for every project. The formation of these teams aim to utilize every staff member’s specialty as best as possible, and reflects DSI’s corporate mission of ‘providing the highest quality engineering and program management services to each of our clients so that a tangible return on their investment is achieved.’

The first of the engineering divisions is the Mechanical/ Conveyor Engineering Group, whose team members provide mechanical/conveyor facilities consulting, conceptual design, and detail design with specialization in facilities layout and systems integration.

The second group, the Manufacturing Engineering & Consultant department is skilled in a variety of industrial engineering services, such as assembly process development, in-plant material logistics design, ergonomic design, quality improvement, value stream analysis, and the application and implementation of lean techniques throughout the manufacturing environment.

Well versed in all aspects of control system design and electrical engineering, the Electrical/Controls Engineering Group consists of engineers and technicians capable of providing quality support in plant system architecture design, trouble shooting, on-site system start-up engineering, systems integration, and utility optimization evaluations and power studies.

Another branch in DSI’s structure is the Paint Finishing Group. Its staff can cover all aspects of paint finishing and process costings, powder, solvent borne and water base paint systems. The team also offers engineering solutions for energy management, fire protection, weld water systems, process ventilation, building air balancing, environmental compliance evaluation, and waste consolidation/reduction studies. DSI also offers a complete assessment of your Paint Shop operations, including quality, operational efficiencies, throughout capabilities and operating costs.

DSI boasts one of the most experienced simulation groups in the USA. Its Simulation Engineering division has developed hundreds of large-scale models, specializing in the development of computer simulation models for design development and design verification. These dynamic models are also used as production training aids and productivity optimization. Industry veterans The Supply Chain Consulting team led by veteran experts develops warehouse strategies, and provides material flow engineering, network analysis, nd supply chain planning services that effectively support customers’ supply chain activities. The supply chain team can quickly analyse your operations and provide a roadmap for operational improvements. Last but not least, the Program Management Group provides the development and implementation of project tracking systems, including change management techniques, schedule control, budget control, resource planning, and executive reporting systems. The department focuses on providing the engineering and technical personnel required to take the project from a planning state to a complete commissioned and operational project. Successful project Design Systems, Inc. will structure the project team to focus on the technical needs of their customers. One example of a successful partnership with a client is the work for a large Oil and Gas Company. DSI was initially contracted to support the planning and material handling engineering of a plant consolidation project. The undertaking entailed consolidating four individual business units within its Oil and Gas department. The challenge for DSI was to integrate these four manufacturing locations under one roof, and to design the overall process to take advantage of process similarities where applicable. The team deployed by DSI approached the task by focusing on streamlining the material flow of parts and material, from receiving, to storage, and then to lineside delivery. Having proven successful, the company expanded DSI’s scope to include a focused effort on t e design and optimization of the internal parts warehouse.

New office opened
Another fruitful collaboration DSI completed was a project for a large automotive company that exceeded five years in duration. In the course of its implementation, the company was responsible for the development of a concept design and budgetary estimating for general assembly through commissioning for a greenfield plant. The devised concept design utilized lean, just-in-time, and point-of-use material strategies throughout the facility, and the deft execution of DSI’s tasks led to the plant being considered an industry benchmark for implementation of these philosophies.

“Far from working only with big and well-known companies, DSI has also established a proven track record working with EV (electric vehicle) start-ups in the past few years, helping get their projects started,” Dan clarifies. “It was important for us to be part of the new surge of the EV market, and the automotive market, as a whole. I attribute our success as much to the diversification of our services to different industries, as to the recent growth of the automotive market in North America.”

The profitable period enabled DSI to open a new office in Mexico two years ago. It is based in one of the most industrialized areas of the country, in Saltillo, the capital of the north eastern state of Coahuila. “We currently have 29 employees to serve the Mexican markets, and we are still growing,” Dan notes with satisfaction. Opening a new location in Mexico means that DSI is now based in all three major countries in North America, with its Canadian office in Windsor, Ontario, having been in operation since 1990.

“Our multi-disciplined engineering and consulting expertise provides value added services for all industries and companies of all sizes. Our goal is to help our customers improve their bottom line. The economy is strengthening, and there is a need in all industries for continuous improvement and optimization of current operations. We are well-positioned to handle any initiative we are tasked with,” Dan concludes.

Design Systems, Inc.
Products and Services: Manufacturing engineering and consulting for companies of all sizes and industrie