Manufacturers of complex products, such as engines and transmissions, have long been using radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to error-proof their processes, document quality, and deal with high-mix production.
If poet Gertrude Stein had also worked as an assembly machine operator, could she have ever written the line, “a rivet is a rivet is a rivet”? No one can say for sure, but it’s highly unlikely since operators know that rivets are distinctive in their design and function, as well as how they are installed.
Light-emitting diode (LED) lighting is one of the hottest segments in the electrical equipment industry today. And, as more consumers seek energy-efficient alternatives to traditional incandescent and fluorescent products, global shipments of LED fixtures, luminaires and modules are expected to grow more than 12 percent annually over the next five years.
The era of digital manufacturing, Industry 4.0 and smart factories is here. It promises to improve productivity, drive operating efficiencies and transform the way many types of products are mass-produced. Benefits include optimized efficiency and reduced assembly line errors.
When the average person opens up a refrigerator and grabs a too-warm soda can or bottle, his initial reaction is one of disappointment. But, if that person is an assembler of harnesses for this type of appliance, his initial thought is: Check the evaporator fan wiring harness.
Going with the flow of the marketplace not only makes sense for a manufacturer, it can also make the company lots of money. An equally beneficial strategy—implemented on an application-by-application basis—is to know the flow of each material being dispensed and equip accordingly. Electronics contract manufacturers are well aware of the benefits of both practices.