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Automated Assembly Systems Definition The use of mechanized and automated devices to perform various assembly tasks in an assembly

line or cell Designed to perform fixed sequence of assembly steps on a specific product

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When to use Automated Assembly System High product demand Stable product design A limited number of components in the assembly Product designed for automated assembly

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Automated assembly system involve significant capital expenses, but it is generally less than for the automated transfer lines. 1. Work units produced on automated assembly system are usually smaller 2. Assembly operation do not have the large mechanical force and power requires of processing operation such as machining Automated assembly system tends to physically smaller, reduces the cost of system
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Fundamentals of Automated Assembly System


Performs as sequence of

automated assembly operations

1. Combining multiple components into a single entity 2. Single entity can be final product or a subassembly in larger product 3. Assembly is completed progressively

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Subsystem of Automatic Assembly System One or more workstation which the assembly steps are completed Part feeding devices that deliver the individual components to the workstation A work handling system for the assembled entity 1. Automatic Assembly System with 1 workstation, work handling system moves the base part into and out of station 2. Automatic Assembly System with multiple workstation, handling system transfers the partially assembled part between stations.
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AUTOMATED ASSEMBLY SYSTEMS


1. 2. 3. 4. Design for automated assembly Types of automated assembly systems Parts feeding devices Analysis of multi-station assembly machines 5. Analysis of a single station assembly machine

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Design for automated assembly


The methods traditionally used for manual assembly are not necessarily the best methods for automated assembly
Ex: The use of a screw, lock washer and a nut to fasten two sheet metal parts 1. The position of holes through which the screw must be inserted are different for each screw 2. The screw holes between the two sheet metal parts have to be positioned properly for inserting the screw 3. The operator must juggle three separate hardware items (screw, lock washer and nut) to perform the fastening operation 4. A sense of touch is necessary to make sure that the nut is started properly onto the screw thread

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Design for automated assembly


The methods traditionally used for manual assembly are not necessarily the best methods for automated assembly For assembly automation to be achieved, fastening procedures must be devised and specified during product design that do not require all of these human capabilities It is difficult to design assembly machines which have human like capabilities, such as, intelligence, dexterity, manipulating multiple tasks and problems, etc

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Automated Assembly
Product design principles
1. Reduce the amount of assembly required Combining functions within the same part Use plastic molded parts in place of sheet metal parts 2. Use modular design Design of product should be modular Each module requiring around 10 to 12 parts to be assembled on a single assembly system Subassembly should be designed around a base part to which other components are added 3. Reduce the number of fasteners required Design the fastening mechanism using snap fits and similar features Design such that several components are fastened simultaneously rather than each component fastened separately
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Automated Assembly
Product design principles
4. Reduce the need for multiple components to be handled at once separate the operations at different stations rather than to handle and fasten multiple components simultaneously at the same workstation 5. Limit the required directions of access Ideal situation is to add components vertically from above 6. Maintain high quality in components Poor quality components cause jams in the feeding and assembly mechanisms 7. Implement hopperability For ease of feeding and orienting parts

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Types of Automated Assembly Systems


Based on the type of work transfer system: 1. 2. 3. 4. Continuous transfer system Synchronous transfer system Asynchronous transfer system Stationery base part system

Based on physical configuration: 1. 2. 3. 4. Dial type assembly machine In-line assembly machine Carousel assembly system Single-station assembly machine

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Factors that influence type of work transfer system


1. 2. 3. 4. The types of operations to be performed The number of stations on the line The weight and size of the workparts Whether manual stations are included on the line 5. Production rate requirements 6. Balancing the various process times on the line

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Continuous transfer system

Workparts are moved continuously at constant speed

Workhead is required to move during processing in order to maintain continuous registration with the workpart This may pose inertia problems due to size and weight of the workheads Relatively easy to design and fabricate and can achieve high rate of production Example: Beverage bottling operations
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Synchronous transfer system


Workparts are

transported with an intermittent or discontinuous motion

Work stations are fixed in position and the parts are moved between stations and then registered at the proper location for processing All workparts are transported at the same time, and hence the name synchronous transfer Examples: Progressive dies, mechanised assembly, machining operations, etc
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Asynchronous transfer system

Each part moves independently of other parts

Referred to as a Power-and-free system, allows each part to move to the next station when processing at the current station has been completed In-process storage of workparts can be incorporated with relative ease Can also compensate for line balancing problems Disadvantage is that the cycle rates are generally slower than for other types
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Pallet Fixtures

Workparts are attached to pallet fixtures and the pallets are transferred between stations

The Pallet fixture is designed so that it can be conveniently moved, located and clamped in position at successive stations. Another advantage of pallet fixtures is that they can be designed to be used for a variety of similar parts

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Dial type assembly machine

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Dial type assembly machine

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Dial type assembly machine

Base parts are loaded onto fixtures that are attached to a circular dial

Components are added and/or fastened at various workstations located around the periphery of the dial The dial indexing machine is the most common system in this category It operates with a synchronous or intermittent motion
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In-line assembly machine

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In-line assembly machine

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In-line assembly machine

Consists of a series of automatic workstations located along an in-line transfer system

Continuous, synchronous or asynchronous transfer systems can be used with the in-line configuration For synchronous transfer of work between stations, the ideal cycle time equals the operation time at the slowest station plus the transfer time between stations

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Carousel assembly system

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Carousel assembly system

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Carousel assembly system

It represents a hybrid between the dial assembly system and In-line system

It can be operated with continuous, synchronous or asynchronous transfer mechanisms

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Single-station assembly machine

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Single-station assembly machine

Assembly operations are performed at a single location

First, a base part is placed at the workstation where components are added to the base Components are delivered to the station by feeding mechanisms One or more workheads perform the various assembly and fastening operations Typically uses robotic assembly
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Once all the components have been assembled onto the base part, the base part leaves the system. Inherently slower than the other three system configurations, as only one base part is processed at a time.

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Parts Delivery at Workstations Parts delivery to workstations depends upon specific pieces of delivery equipment, particularly associated with automatic assembly. These pieces of equipment are connected together to create the parts delivery system. The following hardware for parts delivery consists of: Hopper a container into which components are loaded at the workstation, and which passes components to the parts feeder Parts feeder a mechanism used for removing components from the hopper, and passing them to the feed track; the parts feeder is often connected to the hopper to form one unit
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Selector and/or orientor devices found on the feedtrack that establish the proper orientation of the components for the assembly workhead: a selector is a filter device that onlycorrectly oriented parts to pass; while an orientor re-orients parts that are not properly oriented initially on the feed track Feed track the pathway along which the components pass from the hopper and parts feeder to the assembly workhead, whilst maintaining proper orientation of the parts via selectors/orientors along the way; it generally operates by gravity, though powered feed tracks (operated by vibratory action or air pressure) may also be encountered
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Escapement and placement devices devices used to remove components from the feedtrack (escapement), and to place them at the workstation for the assembly operation (placement); there are a number of different device designs to accomplish this

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Hardware elements used to delivery parts to workstations

The general arrangement of Part Delivery System


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Hopper and parts feeder

The hopper and parts feeder device are often combined, as shown schematically and pictorially
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Typical selector and orientor devices

(a) Selector and (b) orientor devices used upon the feedtrack
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Escapement and placement devices

Device used on dial-type assembly machines: parts move via horizontal delivery into vacant nests on the dial, as they appear, from the feed track; meanwhile the circular motion of the dial table means that the nests are revolved away from the feed track, permitting the next component in the feed track to move into the next vacant nest, and so forth.

Horizontal placement device


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Device used on dial-type assembly machines: here, the parts feeder is arranged vertically above the dial table, so that when the table turns, to reveal an empty nest, the component can fall by gravity from the feed track into the empty nest. Successive parts fall by gravity to take up their position at the mouth of the feed track in turn.

Vertical placement device

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This device is actuated by the top of the carrier contacting the lower surface of the rivet-shaped part, causing its upper surface to press against the spring blade, which releases the part so that it falls into the work carrier nest. The work carriers are moved horizontally to cause the release of the part, and after the first part has escaped the work carrier and released part move off, to be replaced by the next work carrier, and so forth. Escapement device

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This mechanism uses a pick-andplace unit with a horizontal arm that may be extended and retracted as necessary, so that parts may be removed from the feed track, and placed into work carriers.

Pick-and-place mechanism (1)

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Pick-and-place mechanism (2)

This mechanism uses a pick-andplace unit with a revolving arm, so that parts may be removed from the feed track, and placed into work carriers.
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