Lean Manufacturing Work Cell (Part 2): A Complete Tour


So what Airline was able to do for us
was to connect all our individual processes into one seamless one-piece
flow, which eliminated a lot of the walking around through the company from one process to another. So we eliminated all that waste to decrease our cost and
increase our efficiencies. So then what Airline did is design a motorized system one-piece flow system to attach to the end of a manual system. So now we can continue right onto the motorized system. And we have a collaborative six axis
robot that inserts all our screws. This used to be done manually. They
incorporated a lift and locate so it can bring the unit up and hold it in
plus or minus two on the XY axis to ensure that the screws are inserted in
the exact position. Then the unit is transferred from our screw robot over to
electrical test, where Tran here checks for VSWR and coupling and other
parameters that we need for our customer. So from electrical test the unit is
transferred on the pallet system over to our PIM testing department, where
Keith here can adjust his parameters for PIM, which is very important for our
customers, passive intermodulation. They’ll test for that parameter and
then he’ll hit his release button and the unit will be sent over to sealing,
which is a three axis Cartesian robot. It’s fully auto, there’s no need for
humans to interface with it. In the past we used to do this 100% manually, now
it’s done robotically. Thanks to its lift and locate that we got from Airline
Hydraulics, it holds a unit within plus or minus two on the XY axis which
ensures that the sealant goes into the exact parts of the unit that we need it
to. From the sealing robot it’s
automatically brought into our curing conveyer. It’s a UV compound that’s cured within 30 seconds with ultraviolet light. After
the unit’s cured, it’s sent over here through the conveyor
system to our labeling department. Every unit has to have an identification label
and this is where that’s done. Once it’s completed here they’re put onto our
transfer system here, and it’s all sent off to the customer.
So what we have here is an interface, HMI, which is looks from above and
gives me total control of the lean work cell. I can turn on or off any one of the
stations when necessary. So our lean cell relies heavily on pneumatics, so
Airline was instrumental in developing and installing an air system so that we had
air to our ceiling robot to our air guns and to pneumatic presses that we need to
produce our products. They also supplied us with these carts for our supermarket,
and what this allows us to do is to stage the items necessary to build the
products that are built on this line. It also decreases its set-up time and break down time, and it’s centrally located within the center of the lean cell.

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