New Goals for Advanced, Flexible Manufacturing As today marks the th anniversary of the moving assembly line invented by Ford Motor Company under the leadership of Henry Ford, the company is building on its legacy of innovation by expanding advanced manufacturing capabilities and introducing groundbreaking technologies that could revolutionize mass production for decades to come.
By Mark SobkowVice President of Manufacturing Solutions, RedViking, on July 9, 5 Principles of Flexible Assembly Line Design By following these principles of flexible assembly line design, manufacturers can pursue lean manufacturing in their current operation while also building capabilities to maintain or add lean improvements in the future.
Lean manufacturing seeks to make clear what adds value by reducing everything else. Lean is clearly not a fixed-point objective; accelerating global market competition demands operational flexibility to achieve lean objectives.
Here are five principles, applicable across every type of manufacturing, where flexibility can be added to an existing assembly line to eliminate waste and build quality into the system.
Make your machines do more Consolidating machine functions and using docking station architecture are two great examples of how to make your machines do more.
Automotive exhaust system producers have been extremely successful at effectively implementing docking station architecture. Where they once created a dimensional gagea leak test machine and a weld station for every part, they have now isolated uniform functions such as the programmable logic controller PLC and barcode reader, and placed them on a dock.
Wheeled fixture stations are created for unique parts and hooked to the docks with quick connects. Significant waste is eliminated by retaining the docks through multiple part and fixture modifications.
Helicopter powertrains were tested on dynamic test stands built for each unique helicopter. Today, the industry is moving to flexible designs with interchangeable gearboxes and dynamic motor configurations.
Wheeled fixtures for pre-dressed test articles are also eliminating waste and improving quality. A couple examples include an aircraft and a jet engine manufacturer. In the first example, an aircraft manufacturer was taking up to 70 hours to measure and cut doors and hatch covers.
Rather than simply automate the cutting processthey instead chose to integrate a laser radar point cloud into a robotic cutting path.
The current process takes less than 10 hours. Because they studied the process in its entirety, they now have future capability to precisely measure and cut doors for all future aircraft.
In another case, a jet engine manufacturer needed to exponentially increase capacity.
They began the process with an engineering study and simulation, which clearly identified potential bottlenecks and areas for functional consolidation.
Again, their evaluation of the process as a whole has enabled them to create a plant operation that will be flexible for future engine designs.
Detach your factory from the facility The separation of plant infrastructure from machines and data is crucial.
Some factories have gone so far as to remove all plumbing.A Richards-Wilcox overhead assembly conveyor system, often interfaced with a floor belt conveyor, can send a continuous supply of parts to a single or multiple points on the assembly line.
With automation controls, product can be indexed at variable speeds to different cells or to allow line workers to control the pace for maximum efficiency. Assembly Line Design: The Balancing of Mixed-Model Hybrid Assembly Lines with Genetic Algorithms / Edition 1 Efficient assembly line design is a problem of considerable industrial importance.
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Ask for a demo! Toshiba's Introduction and History Tweaking the Initial Assembly-Line Design The Case Study ㅡ Toshiba Corporation is a Japanese multinational engineering and electronics conglomerate corporation headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. Assembly Line Design Workstation cycle time - a uniform time interval in which a moving conveyor passes a series of workstations Also the time between successive units coming off the line Assembly-line balancing - assigning tasks to a series of workstations so that the required cycle time is met and idle time is minimized Precedence.
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