Date of Defense



Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Tycho Fredericks

Second Advisor

Dr. Colleen Phillips


Goodwill Industries is experiencing increased business in both its manufacturing and processing departments. These increases are welcomed but are creating internal capacity issues and are raising facility layout concerns. The focus of this project is the resolution of these issues through application of industrial engineering and engineering management principles. The recommendations provided by this study will ensure Goodwill Industries continues its present growth, maximizes efficiency, and maintains or improves quality levels.

The expected outcomes of this project are to increase material handling efficiencies, maximize assembly operation efficiencies, optimize the layout of Goodwill's manufacturing and processing facility, and design fixtures to expand the workforce and increase assembly efficiencies. A final aspect of this project will focus on marketing Goodwill Industry's assembly capability to local manufacturing businesses. This 'awareness building' campaign will focus on developing an Internet presence for Goodwill Industries. This website will act as a resource to local industries, providing examples of assembly operations that Goodwill feels confident in performing.

The means by which the efficiency related goals will be achieved include analyzing work history data, conducting interviews with workers, examining the present facility layout, reviewing processing operations, and developing and fabricating assembly fixtures. The processes through which this analysis will be completed consist of workflow analysis through facility modeling, examination of workstations in regard to OSHA guidelines and principles of motion economy, and using engineering skills to develop assembly fixtures. The goal of this project is to produce recommendations that, when implemented, will result in increased efficiencies and larger growth for Goodwill Industries of Battle Creek.

The sequence of event that will occur in this project will follow the established guidelines of Western Michigan University's College of Engineering senior design project structure. During the months of December, January, and early February data will be collected, models will be created, and research will be conducted. Upon compiling this information in late February and early March, potential solutions will be developed, with those selected by Goodwill Industries being implemented. The proposed final completion of this project will be the third week in April, when the results will be presented at a senior design conference at WMU's Bernhard Center.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only