Browse Prior Art Database

Automated Universal Assembly Center

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000048096D
Original Publication Date: 1981-Dec-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-08
Document File: 3 page(s) / 81K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Osborne, LL: AUTHOR

Abstract

There is described and illustrated an automated multi-operator assembly center which provides an increase in productivity and a decrease in space requirements. The universal center is at its widest point 32' in diameter and can accommodate up to 25 individual workers.

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Automated Universal Assembly Center

There is described and illustrated an automated multi-operator assembly center which provides an increase in productivity and a decrease in space requirements. The universal center is at its widest point 32' in diameter and can accommodate up to 25 individual workers.

Fig. 1 illustrates the primary functions of what may be better described as a revolving assembly line. A discrete number of parts or components for a particular phase of a build operation is contained in a kit 10. Kits 10 are conveyed on a ceiling high conveyor 12 to assembly station 14. Completed units 16 are conveyed on conveyor 18 from the assembly station 14. Assembly station 14 includes elevator means for lowering kits 10 to operator level. There are, at approximately the same level as individual work areas 20, an unattended robot work station 22 and a screen 24 on which can be displayed instructions for various operations to be performed. Each work area 20 may further include a rotary fixture 26. Such a device reduces operator reach and move time during assembly while also providing a clear view of the operation. Each work area 20 has direct access to compartments 32 provided for storing work in progress. Additionally these same compartments may, in accordance with suitable program control, accept completed units 16 for removal from the area. Each work area 20 also includes whatever tools may be needed for a particular assembly operation, for example, an air gun as well as small part bins 36. Instrumentation 38 for operator control of kit/unit movement is also provided.

Referring now to Fig. 2, means are shown for receiving kits 10 from conveyor 12 and delivering completed units 16 to conveyor 18, as indicated by arrows 50 and 52. A core station 14 includes shelves 54 movable about shaft

56. THE TRANSPORT SHELVES MAY MOVE UP AND DOWN AND completely around the shaft 56 in the process of delivering and receiving kits or units to or from compartments 32.

In Fig. 2, two operator load areas-60 are shown. These are provided to allow one machine or unit at a time to be worked on at work area 20, while a second unit or kit is in wait area 62 of broad area 60. It should be clear how this function is advantageous in eliminating unproductive operator time waiting for the next machine. Arrow 64 indicates the direction of kit movement from the wait...