Total cost of assembly
The cost of any assembly consists of the cost of the consumable components and the cost of the process itself. In most cases the process costs far outweigh the piece-part fastener costs – often with a ratio as high as 4:1.
Choosing the most appropriate installation system allows for the optimization of the process by focusing on:
- Elimination of secondary operations: Using the most effective system can reduce the amount of necessary labor or eliminate the need for it altogether; using ergonomically designed workstations can also improve operator efficiency and hence reduce problems related to error or fatigue.
- Improved quality: Automated systems are ideal for maintaining consistency and repeatability and reducing process variation, rework, and scrap. Using integrated sensing and process monitoring allows Avdel® equipment to verify that the fastener has been installed every time.
- Increased throughput: Automated assembly can be used to dramatically increase process throughput. This has the benefit that our customers are able to grow their businesses by increasing capacity without the addition of extra resources such as labor or floor space.
Assembly System Design
In helping the customer select a system, our application engineers have a wealth of experience to draw upon. In general, the key factors in the selection are:
- Process speed – the rate at which components need to be assembled will determine the type of equipment and the number of stations needed. Ergonomic design of these workstations, component-handling systems, and in built fixturing can all improve process throughput as can the introduction of robotics and linked cells.
- Flexibility – Assembly automation is not only suited to continuous-flow production of a single product type. Our systems can be designed with in built-in flexibility to allow for changeovers with the minimum of unnecessary downtime. Avdel® also offers an extensive range of handtool-based solutions which offer the greatest level of flexibility.
- PLC control and monitoring – In many cases, modern manufacturing demands an increased level of process monitoring and control. Sensors, counters, and mechanical locks, tied in to a PLC control system, give the user an increased level of confidence in the assembled product quality. Systems can also be designed to help with preventive maintenance regimes as well as troubleshooting any potential problems – these can significantly reduce the overall cost of ownership and increase the equipment life.
Types of Assembly System
Avdel® offers different levels of automation to match the operational requirements of the customer. These are developed using modular design principles to:
- Improve maintenance and serviceability
- Reduce implementation times
- Increase flexibility for equipment modification and extension
The types of automation are categorized as follows:
- Hand tools and simple workstations – these are off-the-shelf systems for simple installation into the assembly environment. They are highly flexible and cost effective.
- Workstations – Avdel® workstations are designed for use with or without an operator. Workstations are normally customized to meet the exact requirements of the application and the assembly process. Avdel® workstations tend to be viewed as a component in a wider assembly system.
- Complete assembly systems – Avdel® can offer complete assembly solutions consisting of multiple workstations linked by transfer lines. Avdel® offers a complete process, design through to installation and service commissioning, for these turnkey solutions.