Do You Know Why You Waste Time On Axle Assembly Line?

Consumers demand customization, which means that every product does not necessarily go through every stage in the manufacturing process of the axle assembly line; the major change of adding variations to products cause delays in assembly.

Consumers demand customization, which means that every product does not necessarily go through every stage in the manufacturing process of the axle assembly line; the major change of adding variations to products cause delays in assembly. Creating parallel operations allow for a reduction in delays. For example, suppose every third product requires an additional component. Taking those products offline temporarily to add the component allows each station to complete the work without waiting. The takt time, the maximum amount of time in which a product needs to be produced in order to satisfy customer demand, per station becomes more flexible and allows for a balanced line. The key element in making this possible is the on-time delivery of materials to the line. This is where advancements in material transport come into play.

Getting the right products in the correct amounts at the time needed is a challenge. Material transport by employees is expensive. Just in time delivery requires more employees and the product variety on the line increases aisle congestion. It also raises the potential for accidents and injury. Autonomous guided vehicles (AGVs) fall short of reducing wait time. Traditional AGVs operate using one of two methods:

Following black magnetic strips on or built into the aisle floor
Using routes programmed into the AGV’s software
Neither method allows for path deviation. In the event an AGV’s path is blocked, it will wait until the obstruction clears. That means production stops and frustration grows while workers wait.

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