Efficient Plant October 2017 - 24

feature | plant profile

Left. Projection-screen material is fed off the roll, then cut to size on a CNC cutting table.
Middle. Not your grandmother's sewing machine, these automated units are programmed by the operator to
sew black borders onto certain large projection-screen products.
Right. Draper keeps hundreds of the most popular window-shade fabric SKUs on hand so production isn't
interrupted by shortages. Photos on this page: Michelle Segrest.

two shades at a time. Our orders were growing
and they were getting more consistent. You
may get an order that has 100 shades and all
100 of them were the same size. So it made
sense to take a wider piece of fabric and use
the same amount of time to cut two shades
instead of just one."
Previously, operators were handed a stack
of paper tickets and expected to sort and
accurately match the correct orders. Now
orders are downloaded into a CMMS, which
saves time and improves quality. Field said he
is working on the sixth revision of the CMMS
and finds significant improvements with each
upgrade.
The company is also using the system to
manage the approximately 4,000 assets that
must be maintained. All assets are assigned
a unique number and have a maintenance
history. However, the process has included
some challenges, especially with a workforce
that has been doing things the traditional way
for many decades.
"I remember when we got our first CNC
cutting table, we installed it and it just sat there
for three months and no one used it," Mullen
said. "They were afraid of it. They would
rather put knee pads on, climb on top of the
table, and cut by hand. It was a slow transition
because they thought a machine was replacing

24

| EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM

their job. They had to get past that. We've run
into that with most of the new equipment
that we have brought in. They resisted the
new cloth-cutting equipment with the fabric
optimization for several months before using
it. Now they see the value and the time that it
saves."
Most of Draper's manufacturing equipment
is about 16 years old. The automation effort
started in 2000. Prior to that there was no
PLC-driven equipment. Even in the late 1990s,
everything was primarily hand crafted. Now,
even the etched-metal labels on the machines
are manufactured on site.
With a maintenance team of just eight technicians, Eric Carrender, department head for
maintenance and exhibits, must consistently
learn new skills to keep up with the changing
technology. "We hired some people who were
more electronically inclined," Carrender said.
"We needed people who could handle the
PLC parts. Of course, the newer guys are more
fluent on the computers. But any of them will
take a shot at it. We all try to help each other
and learn from each other."
Training on new machines happens as soon
as the equipment arrives. "I learn it, Chris
learns it, Eric learns it, and after that first installation everyone gets trained," Mullen said.
"We have learned to make the transition from

old to new a lot more smoothly."
As the processes, product solutions, and
equipment continue to change, Draper
remains steadfast to its family-owned, people-first culture.
"What brought me here was the interesting environment," Abbott said. "I've worked
at places all over the country in industries
from high technology to low technology-everything from a 1945-built plant to
the most advanced machining centers that
you've ever seen. But I wanted to work here
because of the culture and the people. What
Mike Broome said about the people caring
about the company is true. My specific job
is to help us move to a more modernized
approach to manufacturing and routing but,
in general, we all have the same job...we
are all here to just help the company create
quality solutions for our customers." EP
Michelle Segrest is president of Navigate Content Inc., and has been a professional journalist
for 28 years. She specializes in creating content
for the industrial processing industries and has
toured manufacturing facilities in 50 cities in
six countries on three continents. If your facility
has an interesting efficiency, maintenance, and/
or reliability story to tell, please contact her at
michelle@navigatecontent.com.

OCTOBER 2017


http://www.EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Efficient Plant October 2017

Editorial
Implementations
Profitable Reliability Control On Your Horizon
Experts Provide IIoT Insights
Integrating Automation Into Shade Manufacturing
Fluid-Flow Challenges
Looking For Failure In All The Wrong Places
Closer Human/Robot Collaboration
Note These Causes Of Motor Failure
Reliable Pumping Supplement: Food & Beverage Processing
On The Floor
Uptime
IIoT
Pump 'Cavitation' Might Not Be
Never Too Late For Basic Navigation
Audit or Assess? Understand The Difference
A Perfect Pair: Barcodes and Your CMMS
Lubrication Strategies
Products
Ad Index
Showcase
Efficiency Insight
Efficient Plant October 2017 - 1
Efficient Plant October 2017 - Cover1
Efficient Plant October 2017 - Cover2
Efficient Plant October 2017 - 1
Efficient Plant October 2017 - 2
Efficient Plant October 2017 - 3
Efficient Plant October 2017 - 4
Efficient Plant October 2017 - 5
Efficient Plant October 2017 - 6
Efficient Plant October 2017 - 7
Efficient Plant October 2017 - Editorial
Efficient Plant October 2017 - 9
Efficient Plant October 2017 - Implementations
Efficient Plant October 2017 - 11
Efficient Plant October 2017 - Profitable Reliability Control On Your Horizon
Efficient Plant October 2017 - 13
Efficient Plant October 2017 - 14
Efficient Plant October 2017 - 15
Efficient Plant October 2017 - Experts Provide IIoT Insights
Efficient Plant October 2017 - Integrating Automation Into Shade Manufacturing
Efficient Plant October 2017 - 21
Efficient Plant October 2017 - 22
Efficient Plant October 2017 - 23
Efficient Plant October 2017 - 17
Efficient Plant October 2017 - 18
Efficient Plant October 2017 - 19
Efficient Plant October 2017 - Integrating Automation Into Shade Manufacturing
Efficient Plant October 2017 - 21
Efficient Plant October 2017 - 22
Efficient Plant October 2017 - 23
Efficient Plant October 2017 - 24
Efficient Plant October 2017 - Fluid-Flow Challenges
Efficient Plant October 2017 - 26
Efficient Plant October 2017 - 27
Efficient Plant October 2017 - 28
Efficient Plant October 2017 - Looking For Failure In All The Wrong Places
Efficient Plant October 2017 - 30
Efficient Plant October 2017 - 31
Efficient Plant October 2017 - 32
Efficient Plant October 2017 - 33
Efficient Plant October 2017 - Closer Human/Robot Collaboration
Efficient Plant October 2017 - 35
Efficient Plant October 2017 - Note These Causes Of Motor Failure
Efficient Plant October 2017 - 37
Efficient Plant October 2017 - 38
Efficient Plant October 2017 - Reliable Pumping Supplement: Food & Beverage Processing
Efficient Plant October 2017 - 40
Efficient Plant October 2017 - 41
Efficient Plant October 2017 - 42
Efficient Plant October 2017 - 43
Efficient Plant October 2017 - 44
Efficient Plant October 2017 - 45
Efficient Plant October 2017 - 46
Efficient Plant October 2017 - On The Floor
Efficient Plant October 2017 - 48
Efficient Plant October 2017 - Uptime
Efficient Plant October 2017 - IIoT
Efficient Plant October 2017 - Pump 'Cavitation' Might Not Be
Efficient Plant October 2017 - Never Too Late For Basic Navigation
Efficient Plant October 2017 - Audit or Assess? Understand The Difference
Efficient Plant October 2017 - A Perfect Pair: Barcodes and Your CMMS
Efficient Plant October 2017 - Lubrication Strategies
Efficient Plant October 2017 - 56
Efficient Plant October 2017 - 57
Efficient Plant October 2017 - 58
Efficient Plant October 2017 - 59
Efficient Plant October 2017 - Products
Efficient Plant October 2017 - 61
Efficient Plant October 2017 - Ad Index
Efficient Plant October 2017 - Showcase
Efficient Plant October 2017 - Efficiency Insight
Efficient Plant October 2017 - Cover3
Efficient Plant October 2017 - Cover4
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