2017 Whirlpool Corporation Team Project


The Challenge:
Tauber's student tem worked with Whirlpool's Advance Manufacturing team, which represents the hub of Whirlpool's strategic push toward achieving Industry 4.0 standards across their enterprise.  For unknown reasons, the manufacturing team was experiencing rib cracks resulting from the forming process when using an oven cavity rib stamping press.  The cracks seemed to appear randomly, but frequently enough to disrupt production and create excessive waste.

The Solution:
The Tauber team used predictive analytics powered by a neural network to uncover fundamental relationships among a dozen variables that potentially contribute to rib cracking.  The results revealed underlying relationships between raw material properties, the stamping press operating parameters, and oven cavity design that could reduce the occurrence of rib cracking by 50% and improve Overall Equipment Effectiveness by nearly 18.5%.

Read the 2017 Whirlpool Team Project Executive Summary in the 2017 SPOTLIGHT! book.

Student Team:
Ryan Colameo – Master of Business Administration
Ignacio Estrada Garcia – MSE Mechanical Engineering & Master of Management

Project Sponsors:
Audrey Hettig – Assembly System Lead Engineer
Paul Seay – Director Global Advanced Manufacturing
Mae Zyjewski – Senior Director Global Advanced Manufacturing

Faculty Advisors:
Ari Shwayder – Ross School of Business
Dawn White – College of Engineering

About Tauber Team Projects:

The 2017 Tauber Team Projects resulted in $575 million in savings according to sponsoring company calculations, an average of $18.5 million per project over 3 years.

Each two to three person Tauber Team consists of graduate engineering, MBA, and/or MSCM students. Along with receiving high-level corporate support from the sponsoring company, each team is advised by a College of Engineering and a Ross School of Business faculty member and overseen by a Tauber Institute Co-Director. The projects begin on-site in May and continue for 14 weeks.  Students present the results of their projects and compete for over $40,000 in scholarships at the U-M Tauber Institute's annual Spotlight! event, held each September in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Spotlight! provides outstanding opportunities for students and corporate partners to establish relationships while exploring innovations in operations and manufacturing.
Access Spotlight! book for project details.
2017 Whirlpool Corporation Team
2017 Whirlpool Team