A workforce of 1,200 employees produces engines at the Bombardier Rotax plant in Gunskirchen, Austria. The engines power a variety of vehicles and equipment used on land, snow, water or air. The company has customer bases in industry, recreation and motor sports.

Demand for specific engines changes with the seasons, and the company needed a way to increase production with fewer assembly hours. Bombardier contacted Rapistan Systems, which installed three automated modular assembly conveyor (MAC) lines.

MACs are pallet-based, nonsynchronous, modular conveyors for light assembly applications. Pallet sizes range from 10 to 60 inches with a weight limit up to 600 pounds. Transfer speeds are 14 inches per second, and manual stations are easily automated. The system can be expanded and reconfigured, allowing the system to be adjusted as needs change. A complete range of accessories enables integration of robots, testing equipment and other specialized machines into the assembly process.

These lines now produce 250,000 engines annually for snowmobiles, personal watercraft, motor bikes and ultralight aircraft. Additionally, each MAC line can handle two or three different products. Each line features automated assembly and integrated test stations, where engines are tested for tolerances and leakage. If they don't meet specifications, they are automatically routed to a repair loop. This system can also be reconfigured and modified to accommodate new products and procedures.

With 30 percent fewer assembly hours, the company has not only increased production, but also improved quality and reduced in-process damage as well.

For more information on conveyors, call Rapistan Systems at 616-451-6200, visit www.rapistan.com or Reply 6.