View From the Top: Assemblers Look for Semiautomatic Solutions
November 20, 2008
Due to the global slowdown in manufacturing and the economy, DEPRAG anticipates a variety of developments. Manufacturers are less willing to make large investments in capital equipment, which has resulted in less demand for fully automated assembly systems. Instead, the industry is concentrating on manually loaded single-cell solutions, like the DEPRAG Compact Assembly Cell (DCAM), or “smart workbenches.”
The DCAM is a stand-alone assembly cell. It can be manually loaded, or it can interface with a palletized conveyor for automatic loading. Lately, DEPRAG has noticed a rather large demand for these types of systems. Currently, hundreds of DCAMs assemble more than a 100,000 cell phones each day all around the world. For example, a four-spindle DCAM with a two-position rotary-indexing table has a cycle time of 1.6 seconds for four screws. In a three-shift operation, that’s 36,000 phones for a cell phone needing six screws!
A “smart workbench” is for manual assembly, but sophisticated electronics ensure that assembly standards are met. Manual assembly can be accomplished with process control-if the solution is well thought-out. A smart workbench is equipped with MINIMAT-E screwdrivers, which indicate and document torque and angle values. When combined with an X-Y positioning device, the screwdriver can help the operator locate the screwdriver at the correct fastening locations and follow a predetermined assembly sequence. For more information, call 800-4-DEPRAG or visit www.depragusa.com.