This paper presents an application of the Single-Minute Exchange of Die (SMED) methodology to a turret punching machine in an elevators company, in Portugal. The work was developed during five months, in the ambit of a master thesis in Industrial Engineering and Management. The Lean Production tool SMED was applied to reduce setup times in order to improve the production flexibility of the machine. The main results obtained were a reduction of 64% in setup time (from 15.1 to 5.4min), 50% in work-in-process amount (from 12.8 to 6.4 days) and 99% in the distance traveled by the operator during the internal period (from 136.7 to 1.7m). These improvements correspond to gains of about €7,315.38 per year.
Surf is an increasingly popular sport and its performance evaluation is often qualitative. This work aims at using a smartphone to collect and analyze the GPS and inertial sensors data in order to obtain quantitative metrics of the surfing performance. Two approaches are compared for detection of wave rides, computing the number of waves rode in a surfing session, the starting time of each wave and its duration. The first approach is based on computing the velocity from the Global Positioning System (GPS) signal and finding the velocity thresholds that allow identifying the start and end of each wave ride. The second approach adds information from the Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) of the smartphone, to the velocity thresholds obtained from the GPS unit, to determine the start and end of each wave ride. The two methods were evaluated using GPS and IMU data from two surfing sessions and validated with similar metrics extracted from video data collected from the beach. The second method, combining GPS and IMU data, was found to be more accurate in determining the number of waves, start time and duration. This paper shows that it is feasible to use smartphones for quantification of performance metrics during surfing. In particular, detection of the waves rode and their duration can be accurately determined using the smartphone GPS and IMU.
The exploitation of gold ore deposits is highly dependent on efficient mineral processing methods, although actual perspectives based on life-cycle assessment introduce difficulties that were unforeseen in a very recent past. Cyanidation is the most applied gold processing method, but the potential environmental problems derived from the usage of cyanide as leaching reagent led to a demand for alternative methods. Ammoniacal thiosulfate leaching is one of the most important alternatives to cyanidation. In this article, some experimental studies carried out in order to assess the feasibility of thiosulfate as a leaching agent for the ore from the unexploited Portuguese gold mine of Castromil. It became clear that the process depends on the concentrations of ammonia, thiosulfate and copper. Based on this fact, a few leaching tests were performed in order to assess the best reagent prescription, and also the effects of different combination of these concentrations. Higher thiosulfate concentrations cause the decrease of gold dissolution. Lower concentrations of ammonia require higher thiosulfate concentrations, and higher ammonia concentrations require lower thiosulfate concentrations. The addition of copper increases the gold dissolution ratio. Subsequently, some alternative operatory conditions were tested such as variations in temperature and in the solid/liquid ratio as well as the application of a pre-treatment before the leaching stage. Finally, thiosulfate leaching was compared to cyanidation. Thiosulfate leaching showed to be an important alternative, although a pre-treatment is required to increase the yield of the gold dissolution.