Browse Prior Art Database

Flexible Cell Design for Manufacturing

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000123864D
Original Publication Date: 1999-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-05
Document File: 2 page(s) / 119K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Goss, VJ: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

This present invention relates to the process of assembling and testing a product. This exact process is computer manufacturing, but the process is adaptable to other types of manufacturing. A manufacturing process for electronic equipment such as computers includes assembly, inspection, and testing. For computers specifically, the testing typically includes a configuration test, a run-in test a software preload onto the hardfile, a verification test, and a high potential (hi-pot) test. A LAN is the most effective way to test the product and preload the hardfile. A hi-pot test is required to verify that the unit is safe and to get United Laboratories (UL) approval. If a unit fails, it must be debugged.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 49% of the total text.

Flexible Cell Design for Manufacturing

   This present invention relates to the process of
assembling and testing a product.  This exact process is computer
manufacturing, but the process is adaptable to other types of
manufacturing.  A manufacturing process for electronic equipment
such as computers includes assembly, inspection, and testing.  For
computers specifically, the testing typically includes a
configuration test, a run-in test a software preload onto the
hardfile, a verification test, and a high potential (hi-pot) test.  A
LAN is the most effective way to test the product and preload the
hardfile.  A hi-pot test is required to verify that the unit is safe
and to get United Laboratories (UL) approval.  If a unit fails, it
must be debugged.  Manufacturing setup time includes parts
presentation to assembly and debut, ensuring the correct test code
and preload are available, and familiarizing the operators with the
assembly process for the new product.  A large manufacturing line
usually has separate areas for assembly, inspect, configuration,
run-in, preload, card removal, verification, hi-pot, and pact with
queues between each area.  Testing products on a large line is
typically done to optimize workload.  Cells are usually design for
specific product families using Group Technology theories.  The
traditional Group Technology workcell recommends dedicating cells to
specific products (different cells would  be used for each product
type with different parts or processes).  Other computer companies
that have implemented cellular based concepts, still divide
operations.  They installed assembly cells, but kept separate
testing and burn-in areas.  This improves the assembly process but
still results in increased WIP due to queues, loss of ownership
resulting from separation of operations, and staffing balancing
between the areas.

   The problems of efficiently building and testing both small
and large jobs are overcome using a combination of cells and a
material handling backbone.  After exiting the CPL kitting area the
tote conveyer system, which is overhead, carries the tote on a tray
with a chassis.  The tray has a barcode used for tracking.  The tote
travels and queues at each cell as directed by the material handling
program (MHS).  As totes travel along the conveyor, system scanners
located at each intersection will scan the barcode located on the
tray.  If the barcode cannot be read the system discharges the tote
off the tote conveyor at the scanner and notifies maintenance.  Each
pair of cells shares a lift that brings the tote to floor level and
takes the empty tote back to the overhead return.  Totes travel to
assembly station 1 waiting to be called in by the cell.  Empty totes
are sent out by the operator at station 5 of each cell.  The empty
totes travel back to each of the kitting spurs that are in use.
Empty totes accumulate on the overhead conveyor and queue in front of
each spur.  Manufacturin...