Sooner/Exiss Trailer: Redesign of Sidewall Jig
Tanisha Hamm, Kevin Roehm, Kaden Wanger
KTK Engineering Solutions compiled a list of customer requirements for Sooner/Exiss Trailer’s new welding jigs. The most important requirement is that the jig increases the quantity of trailers manufactured from 7 trailers to 10 trailers per day. Another important requirement is that the welders using it like it, and that the ergonomics are pleasing. Sooner/Exiss needs the jig to be long enough to accommodate their longest trailers, which are 42’, but it must also be capable of manufacturing trailer sides as short as 16’. The jig must also accommodate different heights, ranging from 5’6” to 8’2” tall. In addition, the jig must accommodate all 72 different trailer side designs which Sooner/Exiss has in production. After speaking with the welders at Sooner/Exiss, their requirements were that the new jig be shorter in height than it is now, but be able to accommodate the tallest trailers. Currently, the welders have to climb on the jig; after the redesign this requirement will be eliminated. However, the welders want dedicated footholds to prevent slipping and easily accessible clamps. Additional horizontal cross members on the jig were another specification, purely for the welders to easily clamp aluminum tubing to during placement. KTK thinks that the requirements from both management and wage workers at Sooner/Exiss can be accommodated with the exception of climbing which is clearly undesirable. The budget for the redesign can be up to $20,000, according to management. KTK also had ideas for a jig that has powered or manual rotation designs which can accommodate Sooner/Exiss funding requirements. KTK used rectangular steel tubing to build the jig, with it being adequately supported to prevent the jig from sagging and therefore building sag into the sides of the trailer. The jig was built to last, using quality materials and engineering design.
Sooner/Exiss Trailer currently uses four fixed jigs to manufacture side walls. KTK Engineering made two visits to observe workers and daily work. Figure 1 shows Sooner/Exiss Trailer’s current jig setup. The figure also demonstrates the unsafe climbing which commonly required of welders in order to reach higher welds. The danger of this action is increased by the opaque welder’s helmets which prevents the workers from seeing to catch themselves in the event of a fall. Eliminating climbing is one of the requirements the new jig will meet.
Scope of Work
The scope of work only included the redesign and possible fabrication of a new jig which will be used in trailer side production. The engineers of KTK researched relevant patents, and spoke to experienced engineers whom had also previously worked on the project. The general manager at Sooner/Exiss wanted a jig that would not require workers to climb on the jig. KTK needed to make sure the jig did not deflect when a trailer side was being constructed. The jig needed to increase accuracy of framing posts, window, and door placement so fewer trailers would need to be reworked.