WORKSHOP #2: Transitioning From Manual to Automated Assembly

A 2018 survey published by the Manufacturing Institute found that 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will need to be filled in the next decade and 2 million of those jobs will go unfilled. The problem is already manifesting itself. During the first quarter of 2019, more than 25 percent of manufacturers had to turn down new business opportunities due to lack of skilled workers. Automation is one solution to that problem—but, successful automation projects don’t happen by accident. This workshop will guide engineers through the process of transitioning from manual to automated assembly. We’ll show you how to pick the best projects; how to justify the investment; and how to design your line for maximum efficiency.

Tuesday, October 22 | 1:00 – 1:35 PM

Automating Your Assembly Process
Are you still on the fence about whether to automate some or all of your assembly process? Maybe you know you need to make some changes, but don’t know how to find the right balance between automated, semiautomated and manual processes? Sure, the benefits may seem obvious: faster production, reliable inspection, lower costs and less waste. But, transitioning to automation isn’t right for every manufacturer. The decision must be based on your company’s needs and future outlook. In this session, you’ll learn how to select the best projects for automation, how to define success, how to do a cost analysis, and how to set a budget.

Greg Earle, Head of Customer Support & Controls Engineering, HAHN Automation Inc.

Tuesday, October 22 | 1:35 – 2:10 PM

You Can Get a Robot to do That
A fully integrated automated assembly line is a wonder to behold, but it’s not for everyone. Full automation is expensive and can be limiting in terms of the variety of products it can handle. Below a certain production threshold, full automation simply doesn’t make sense economically. Fortunately, a variety of affordable, easy-to-use robots are available to help automate individual processes, such as machine tending, dispensing, welding and assembly. In this session, you’ll learn what processes to target with a robot, how to match a robot to the task, and how to integrate a robot into your line.

Scott Flood, Vice President of Sales, USA, KUKA Robotics Corp.

Tuesday, October 22 | 2:10 – 2:45 PM

Lean Manufacturing and Assembly Automation
Many people believe that lean manufacturing principles only apply to manual assembly applications. But, lean initiatives work equally well with either automated assembly systems or manual assembly processes. Semi- and fully automated assembly systems come in many formats, ranging from rotary indexing systems to high-speed continuous motion systems. No matter the shape, size or speed, engineers can use lean manufacturing principles to continuously improve the performance and effectiveness of production equipment. In this session, you'll learn how to use automation to improve flow, reduce waste and maximize value. You will also learn about particular issues to consider when deciding on an appropriate level of automation, specifying the equipment and designing the details

Quarterman Lee, President, Strategos Inc.


Tuesday, October 22 | 2:55 – 3:30 PM

Scalable Automation: A Path to Turnkey Success
Assembly automation can run the gamut from user-operated benchtop stations to full turnkey systems. By creating a scalable automation strategy from the beginning, equipment reuse, risk reduction, and incremental implementation can be realized. By approaching an automation strategy in an incremental way, engineers can reap many benefits, such as the opportunity to prove risky or untested processes before “going all in” on a full turnkey system, a reduction in initial capital outlay at the beginning of a program, and the quick launch of critical processes. In this sessions, you’ll learn how to develop and implement scalable automation.

Stephen Maund, President & CEO, Demco Automation