The advantages of workpiece carriers
explained in Lean Production

Workpiece carriers play an important role in optimizing production processes in a lean production environment. By holding and securing components to a fixed point, they reduce the need for manual handling and the risk of damage to the workpieces.

Configure individual workpiece carrier system

1. what is lean production? (Definition)

Lean Production is a production method that aims to eliminate waste and inefficiencies in the production process. The goal of lean production is to create a production line that is as efficient as possible and can produce high-quality products using as few resources as possible. The use of workpiece carriers is crucial in this process.

2. increase production efficiency

The ideal production would immediately produce the final product, produce no scrap and cost nothing. Of course, this is far from reality. Nevertheless, poduction engineers are trying to get closer to this ideal.

With the use of workpiece carriers and the clear fixing of components, there are some advantages that contribute significantly to increasing production efficiency.

3. eliminate cost factors of the conveyor technology

Bin picking takes time. ©Atria innovation
Robot loading needs higher accuracy due to workpiece carriers.

Cost factor time:

Automated production works best when the same component is always in the same place. This simple indexing on a defined matrix saves a lot of time during production, especially when there are several production steps. If an industrial robot had to perform" bin picking" for each production step because it receives all parts only half-structured or chaotic, these three steps would always be mandatory:

1. Determine the structuring of the parts, analyze it with an image processing system and recognize the position of the individual parts.

2. Transfer the data from the image processing system to the robot controller and calculate the optimum path, as well as the gripping and removal strategy.

3. Place the part at a predefined point or transfer it to the next production step.

It is immediately clear that no matter how high the computing power, this takes time. It is therefore worthwhile to process this step only once at most and then to present the same structure of the components to the automation again and again. That is lean production!

Cost factor: money

Of course, time = money, especially in production. But there is another decisive aspect:"rejects". The production of low quality (B or C goods) costs money. If the manufactured component cannot be assembled or sold, the company has to book a loss. This is contrary to successful lean production. With a workpiece carrier system , the components are not only secured but also transported gently throughout the entire process. Especially when using an individual workpiece holder (clip or multiclip), it is impossible to touch the components. This guarantees the surface quality right to the end.

Cost factor: People

In automated production, people themselves are a not inconsiderable cost factor. In addition to potential sick leave and vacation entitlement, it has been proven that the use of workpiece carrier systems improves work safety in production. By reducing manual intervention, they help eliminate the risk of injury to skilled workers and reduce damage to high-value workpieces. Worker health and safety is critical to successful lean production.

4. unique indexing of the entire assembly

The modularity of the ZELL systems guarantees consistent indexing of the entire workpiece carrier assembly. Since there is a matching workpiece carrier and basket for each clip, the position of the individual component can be calculated for all machines and industrial robots, despite complex work steps.

If, for example, a turned part is manufactured with a CNC machine, measured and placed on a workpiece carrier, which is then inserted into the matching basket and the entire batch is washed, the position of each individual part can still be precisely identified afterwards.

Each workpiece carrier and basket can be clearly identified by means of an attached marking holder and its QR code or RFID chip.

Even if a new project requires the transport of a differently shaped component, all components can be flexibly adapted and the position of the parts can be easily calculated due to standardized dimensioning. This sustainability makes a decisive contribution to lean production!

5. conclusion

In summary, the use of workpiece carriers is an important part of lean production . They play a key role in reducing waste, increasing efficiency and improving workplace safety - all important goals of lean production. If you want to optimize your production processes, integrating workpiece carriers into your lean production is a must.

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