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Flexible Manufacturing Systems

Flexible Manufacturing Systems

Flexible Manufacturing Systems

In order to extend the level of automation and improve overall factory productivity, manufacturing operations must be looked upon as a chain process steps that should be arranged according to lean manufacturing principles. This requires taking care of material flow and WIP, since typically 80 to 95% of the product lead times are non-value added, due to insufficient material flow management and the inflexibility of the existing manufacturing system.

While most flexible manufacturing systems are found in machining environments, there is no reason to utilize the FM concept for prior-machining stages. If the situation is favorable, meaning proper product families with proper volumes exists, the FMS provides several hard-to-beat, advantages over other production systems.

These advantages are for example: very efficient use of floor space, shortest possible lead times, smallest possible WIP, easy production scheduling, standardized cycle times and process quality, highest possible equipment utilization rates, minimized need for labor in relation to production volumes and low production costs per part.

Typical PEMA Flexible Manufacturing System Consists of Following Components and Functions and Can be Adjusted According to Specific Needs:

Two or More Processes

  • Forming/Bending
  • Weld joint preparation/milling etc.
  • Assembly/tack welding
  • Pre-heating
  • Welding
  • Thermal cutting
  • Grinding / Edge rounding
  • Quality control

FMS-Computer Control System

  • Cell controller management
  • Graphical user interface for the operators
  • Program management for the material handling system
  • Scheduling and material flow control
  • Interface to higher level factory MMS

Four or More Machines

  • Robots
  • Process dedicated machinery

Advanced Sensor Technology

  • Part type recognition
  • Part position recognition
  • Manufacturing features recognition

Material Handling Systems

  • Automated material flow with integrated storage and transport system
  • Load/unload systems for individual machines with or without buffer storage
  • Workpiece positioners
  • Robots
  • Automated or manually operated clamping systems
  • Workpiece fixtures

Advanced Off-Line Programming Tools Taking Advantage of Existing Product Data and Enabling Quick NPI's

  • Graphical off-line programming
  • Macro based programming tools

 

PEMA FMS Principles
  1. Systems are able to run in one-of-a-kind production batch mode.
  2. Systems are agile and able to accept changes in production schedules and volumes despite the product mix.
  3. New part introductions (NPI's) are made with ease.
  4. In the case of equipment malfunctions, the system is quick to recover.

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