Modular Automated Assembly Line
Original Publication Date: 1987-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-02
Some automated assembly lines consist of a fixed, linear series of workstations producing a product in one continuous process. This method is sometimes necessitated by a product design which affords no intermediate stable state. Such assembly lines generally do not easily "work around" an out-of-service workstation nor readily accommodate product design changes. The present embodiment postulates a product specifically designed to exist in several successive stable states (subassembly levels) during production, concomitant with automated assembly in several independent assembly cells, in parallel. Each cell accepts the product at one specific subassembly level and raises it to the next higher level.