Systems Electro-Coating 

Company Profile:
Established in 2003, Systems Electro-Coating (SEC) is a tier one supplier to Nissan, the largest automotive manufacturer in Mississippi. Located in Madison, Mississippi, the minority-owned company employs 55 people. 

Situation:
Systems Electro-Coating recently determined that to participate in Nissan's 2007 truck model production it would have to expand its existing 50-plus team member operation. SEC President Toni Cooley requested technical assistance from the Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems Extension (CAVS-E), Mississippi State University's automotive engineering center, and center of the Mississippi Manufacturing Extension Partnership, a NIST MEP network affiliate. 

Solution:
The MEP.ms Center at CAVS-E engineering group developed a simulation model of SEC's electro coating operation. The simulation model provided an objective third party analysis of current and future electro coating capacity. The project was funded in part by the economic development arm of Entergy Corporation. Specifically, MTA project's purpose was to assist SEC with: determining existing equipment and process efficiencies; ensuring that the proposed equipment modifications would achieve increased capacity; demonstrating that the proposed changes to the physical plant, equipment and processes would meet the projected increase in business volume; and developing a sound business case and written plan for use to secure expansion dollars from financial institutions. The model involved simulated the number of cranes, crane routes, inventory lanes, lane speeds and pallet movement, as well as tested various network algorithms. The overall objective was to understand how these and other parameters impacted the plant's current and proposed capacity-volume relationships.

Results:
• Created additional business with Nissan.
• Provided electro coated frames for proposed Nissan's 2007 truck model production. 

Testimonial:
“The MEP.ms Center at CAVS-E, through projects like ours, links small manufacturers with cutting-edge technology developed by leading experts housed within our public universities and local extension services. Certainly, in the realm of engineering, the MEP.ms Center at CAVS-E provides a cost effective means of gaining access to resources, such as advanced engineering tools that smaller manufacturing companies, like SEC, do not have internally. At the end of the day, these resources help us build the human capital within our local organizations and communities.”
  — Toni Cooley, President