03-05-2021 Why standardization is so important
Stabilizing and Standardizing Processes
If at first your CNC machine shop doesn’t succeed with robots, automate again
Some machining shops struggle with their first robotic machining cell. However, the hereby aluminum extrusion components manufacturer — now with more than 20 robots — discovered that by simplifying and standardizing its automation strategy, it could reap the benefits of unattended machining even for relatively low batch sizes.
Automating the production process often involves tradeoffs. (this is a compromise/ balance betwwen many variables such as investment, ROI, users mindset, efficency etc)
These can include running at lower production speeds or using cobots with lower payload capacities. Making small concessions here or there can enable shops to simplify and standardize their production process, leading to long-term productivity and capacity gains.
Right before a cell consisting of two CNC machine tools, two conveyors, a camera and a robot anchor went into production, a downturn in the telecommunications industry caused the company to lose the job. So, this company identified an existing repeating job that featured a family of like parts that the cell could be redeployed to produce. The goal was to also work in other jobs on the cell to keep it busy, but this strategy did not work out well. In the end, the company learned that simplification (in addition to standardization) was the true key for automation success. Simplifying the cell by dedicating it to the family of like parts increased its production output. The company has since applied this way of thinking to the design of various robot-tended machining cells.
At the end it could be a roadmap for other industrial processes existing in any companies, meaning have the right mindset to simplify and find common repeated operations throughout the all valued chain, that could help the approach to the known costly bottlenecks.
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