Shift Participant: LSI-NY, a subsidiary of Astronics, manufactures interior and exterior lighting products for the aircraft industry, flight deck, exterior, and emergency lighting systems. With a workforce of 300 and the goal of improving productivity and efficiency through new technology, LSI-NY approached the Shift team to explore adding advanced automation to key areas in its manufacturing line.

LSI-NY’s Challenge: Facing increased customer demand year after year, LSI-NY knew it needed to adopt a strategy of working smarter versus working harder. Several opportunities for automation on its manufacturing line were identified that could both speed up production and provide growth opportunities for manufacturing operators by enabling them to focus on higher value-add tasks.  

How Shift Helped: LSI-NY completed a business assessment with the Shift team and started attending Shift workshops led by industry experts. After completing the recommended Shift workshops, an Innovation Audit was conducted on the LSI-NY manufacturing floor with leadership, technical, and operations team members to identify technology opportunities, a factory floor walk to observe current manufacturing processes and equipment, and the identification of a range of cross-cutting, “quick win” opportunities for the company to consider. Once all the options were identified, a collaborative approach was used to prioritize the top options, based on factors such as implementation timeline, cost, and business impact.

The Shift Impact: Some of the more complex LSI-NY products require the insertion of hundreds of components, each of which can be as small as a few millimeters, requiring careful picking, orienting, and placement. The Shift Innovation Audit Team quickly identified an improved automated solution and supported it with 3D conceptual drawings and detailed bid specifications to help facilitate the company’s request for proposal (RFP) process. The automated solution will increase the facilities throughput, enabling LSI-NY to better allocate its human resources. Additionally, LSI-NY anticipates expanding the solution to automate the insertion of additional small parts, such as screws, screw inserts, buttons, and more.