Industrial & Systems Engineering

AUCNET USA Case Study

7Even though Aucnet Japan is successful, AUCNET USA is losing the interest of dealers of used cars from its satellite auto auction process. Help the management analyze alternatives and come up with recommendations.

Excerpt From Case Study

In 1985, Mr. Masataka Fujisaki, an entrepreneur, saw an opportunity to transform the marketplace of wholesale auto auctions in Japan. In this market, large volume dealers sold and bought cars from other dealers; no sales were made to direct consumers. The vehicles were transported weekly to one of several established locations and sold to dealers at live auctions. This traditional method was inefficient because only about 40% of the inventory were sold at any auction. Mr. Fujisaki envisioned a computerized auction system where the dealers did not have to leave their workplace to buy and sell cars. Therefore, he established an auto auction business utilizing information technologies to buy and sell cars in the wholesale market.

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Della Steam Plant Case Study

8A turbine-generator unit in a power plant vibrates heavily and shakes the building. The problem poses a serious safety risk and could create expensive repair costs if it damages itself or requires major preventative maintenance. Two engineers recommend conflicting solutions, and the plant manager had to make a decision that could cost the company millions of dollars.

This case study helps students learn about technical, financial, safety, and credibility issues involved in decision-making.

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Lorn Manufacturing Case Study

lornmanuThe Lorn Manufacturing case study details the dilemma Jim Russell faced after losing three fingers in a horrible accident that occurred while he was cleaning a lap winder in an industrial plant. Who is responsible? Did Russell fail to follow procedure while performing his maintenance duties, or is it the manufacturer’s fault for not following proper safety guidelines when designing the machinery? Find out the jury’s verdict and learn about engineering ethics.

Students use this case study to develop an understanding of the following key objectives:

  • Implementation of safety procedures in a manufacturing plant
  • Application of codes and standards in professional environments
  • Qualifications engineers must have to serve as expert witnesses
  • Proper communication skills in a professional environment, such as a manufacturing plant

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Yuguiyu Motors Case Study

22_mYuquiyu Motors planned to phase out its popular Y08 engine by 2002 in compliance with emissions standards and to introduce a new engine, the Y11, to fill its place in the market. However, the Y11 failed emission tests in 1998, so it had to be fully redesigned and retested. The project manager of the Y11 engine faced a difficult assignment and had to determine the next course of action.

There are three specific educational objectives of using this case study in a classroom:

  • First, this case study showcases how a two-stroke engine is built and the issues in bringing an engine to the market. The problem with the engine was that it failed the emission test because the engine released more than the permissible amount of HC+NOx in the atmosphere. Students are provided an opportunity to come up with solutions to this design problem.
  • Second, the case provides an example of the use of the “house of quality” framework. This framework enhances the understanding of tradeoffs and synergies that exist among various technical and market requirements and help the students visualize how a firm balances multiple criteria in choosing a design option.
  • Third, the case underlines the importance of better communication between engineering design, manufacturing, MIS, and other divisions of a company. It shows that in this company, there was very little linkage between the information systems used by designers and the manufacturing employees. Improved linkages could lead to more efficient systems and higher profitability for the company.
  • Fourth, students get an opportunity to analyze managerial decisions that consider both engineering and business aspects associated with product development. The case provides a context to illustrate the benefits of using an Enterprise information system (for example, SAP R/3) in a company. SAP R/3 is a complex system and many students have difficulty understanding its use by a large organization. The case shows how Yuquiyu Motors (YM) used SAP R/3 during many stages of its product life cycle.

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