Thursday 20 June 2019

How to Become a Manufacturing Cell Fully-Automated Without Robots: Case-Study in the Automotive Components Industry

Productivity  is  a  key  factor  for  companies  manufacturing  parts  and  sets  to  the  automotive  industry.  Automation  plays  an  important  role  in  this  matter,  allowing  development  of  entire  manufacturing  cells  without  the  direct  need  of  workers.  Even  in  countries where the labour cost is relatively low, it becomes necessary to improve the level of automation applied to manufacture
cells  and  reduce  the  dependence  of  the  human  labour  unpredictability,  also  increasing  the  quality  and  reducing  the  costs.  This  case  study  was  developed  based  on  an  industrial  request  in  order  to  improve  a  semi-automatic  cell  devoted  to  seat  suspension  mat manufacturing. The original cell allows several automatic operations but it needs two workers for two specific operations not considered  in  the  initial  design.  Thus,  new  concepts  of  wire  feeding  and  manipulation  were  developed  in  order  to  allow  a  better  material flow throughout the cell. The new cell was designed and built with success, allowing obtain a fully-automated system, which leads to a better productivity and reliability of the manufacturing process.

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