Sentral Assemblies & Components Inc. (Lincolnshire, IL) is a contract manufacturer for interconnect assemblies, wiring harnesses, power cords, wire leads and sets, electromechanical assemblies, box builds, and data and signal interconnect cables. In a recent upgrade to its facilities, the company sought not only to make its workspace more efficient, but more aesthetically appealing as well. Modern efficiency philosophies emphasize a clean, well-organized work area as a factor in overall productivity. It is considered by many a sign that a business is serious about quality.

"It's essential for us to project a consistently professional, high-quality image, for our customers as well as our employees," says Sentral operations manager William Schlitz. "We are a modern, high-tech facility, and all of our equipment needs to reflect that."

To this end Sentral installed 12 Dimension Next expandable, modular, double-sided workstations from Pro-Line (Haverhill, MA). The stations were used to create 24 new work areas.

"The Dimension Next workstations allowed us to achieve our primary goal of providing a clean, well-lit, organized and efficient workspace for each of our operators," Schlitz says. "In our final assembly area, technicians are often performing some very complex electronic hand-assembly work. These are not high-volume assembly lines. When operators are performing tasks like hand crimping or hand soldering, a clean and organized workspace is essential."

According to Schlitz, one of the reasons he elected to go with the Dimension Next line is its adaptability. Optional modular accessories let users configure each station to meet their needs. The workstations include solid, slotted aluminum uprights so that work surfaces or accessories can be mounted anywhere along the column without the use of tools.

"The workstations we bought are fully loaded with accessories that make all the needed hand tools, crimping tools, gloves and other equipment readily accessible," Schlitz says. He adds that the accessories currently incorporated into Sentral's final assembly area include height-adjustable footrests, eight-outlet power strips, black parts bin holders, overhead light fixtures and frames, and adjustable metal shelves. In addition, each workstation includes a lockable, modular drawer, which provides a secure home for an array of operator tools.

Although the workstations are double-sided, the different work surfaces and accessories adjust independently, allowing workers to remain comfortable while on the job. Schlitz says this as an important benefit, despite the lack of consistent repetitive motion in the final assembly area.

"There isn't the high risk of injury in this department you'd find in a more high-volume production area," Schlitz says. "But operator comfort and stress reduction are still of the utmost importance. We have multiple operators using each workstation on different shifts, and it's great to be able to adjust the modular elements of each workstation to suit individual needs."

He adds that working at professional-looking and attractive workstations has proved to be good for employee morale as well.

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