Lean Cells for Semi-Automatic Assembly and Test
Lean manufacturing is nothing new, but lean cells take traditional work cells to a whole new level.
The traditional lean approach aimed to eliminate waste by improving the flow of manufacturing processes, optimizing an end-to-end operation rather than counting the cost of each separate part of the process. Work cells were placed closer to one another to minimize delays between each part of the process and reduce waste in inventory.
Lean work cells are placed literally back-to-back to ensure there is minimal waste of movement between them, and to reduce effort on the part of the operator. This results in a smooth, seamless operation. Not only does this approach speed up the process and make it more efficient and cost effective, it also reduces error-inducing stress operators might otherwise experience. Having smaller batches for production also improves the operation.
Designs for Lean Cells
Design solutions for lean cells may be manual, semi-automatic or robotic. Whether you are mass producing goods or focusing on lower volume products, well-designed lean manufacturing work cells will help to eliminate all forms of waste, decreasing costs by minimizing resources required as well as lead times.
MESH designs and builds custom solutions include semi-automatic lean cells, as well as fully automated robotic assembly and test solutions. We then supply integrated controls for implementation into your MESH system.
Whatever your needs, we will help you reduce all possible forms of waste so that you are assured of a maximum return of investment (ROI).
Advantages of our semi-automatic lean cell systems include:
- Saving labor costs by freeing up employees who can manage other tasks in the business.
- Speeding up production cycle rates so they are faster than humans alone could ever achieve.
- Reducing the investment costs associated with fully automated lines.
- Improving ergonomics and in this way reducing risks associated with repetitive motion injuries.
- Improving quality control (QC) and reducing errors with the poka yoke mechanism that makes it virtually impossible to pass defects onto the next step in any process. A Japanese approach to “mistake proofing,” poka yoke enables operators quite literally to avoid (yokeru) mistakes (poka). Simple examples include using only one type of bolt at a workstation or having differently shaped fuel nozzles for diesel and unleaded gas.
- Machine vision for automated part inspection if this is required.
- A variety of test cycles depending on the processes involved. These might include tests for pressure decay, mass flow, force/displacement, and more.
- Part-marking capabilities including laser, scribing or inkjet.
- Rugged, proven control from ABB or Fanuc, as required.
Semi-automatic lean cells for assembly and test purposes are ideal for lower volume production or when automating production that involves difficult raw materials. Additionally, they are much more accurate and considerably more consistent than human operators.
The MESH Promise
The engineering team at MESH has decades of experience geared to ensuring that the automated processes we supply will help control your company’s overall manufacturing costs. We are able to take care of controls integration, the raw material interface, and packaging solutions for finished goods.
With MESH you will have partnered with a company the guesswork out of automation. Contact us as soon as possible so we can help you improve the speed, quality and cost effectiveness of your manufacturing processes and ultimately boost your bottom line.