Not surprisingly, T&WA knows the importance of effective supply chain management. The company makes sure its wheel sets arrive in order and just-in-time at their destination.
“Cycle time is everything,” says Tom Sirianno, vice president of engineering for T&WA. “We have a responsibility to ensure our production sequencing system integrates seamlessly with that of our customers.”
Some time ago, Toyota’s increased production demands at the T&WA facility in Paris, KY, threatened to outstrip the capacity of its manual storage and retrieval system. Limited space made it impractical to add more forklifts with clamps. And cost concerns ruled out increasing labor.
RMT engineers designed a fully automated production sequencing system (PSS) consisting of two high-speed gantry robots that service separate Toyota assembly lines. Each robot sorts incoming tires into five-wheel vehicle sets and temporarily stacks them beneath the structure for later selection and release. After the tire uniformity operation, tires are automatically palletized or streamed into RMT’s gantry-based, cured-tire distribution system.
Computer-controlled, the PSS carries out each shipping task in sequence. Sirianno says T&WA did consider installing other systems that used vertical bins and shelving, but chose the PSS because of its high working speed and promised uptime dependability. Sirianno says the system has operated error-free since being installed several years ago.
For more information on robotic gantry systems, call 905-643-9700 or visit www.rmtrobotics.com.