In this application,
we have taken a standard manual press assembly process and provided several
key features while retaining the operator for all press functions.
The object was NOT to automate while increasing the reliability of the
process by maintaining consistency from operator to operator. The
solution was simple: use a graphical interface to show the operator all
necessary assembly information, including sequence of assembly, proper
use of pressing tools, automatic calculation of shim packs, and visual
verification of these items.
Using a standard
MMI package, we take digital photos of the process and use these photos
to describe all aspects of the assembly process. Sensors on the press
provide valuable feedback for measurement of force, torque, running torque,
shim pack thickness, and axial end-play. We input this data to the
MMI package and provide necessary operator assembly data on the screen.
This system was programmed to accept/reject each sequence based upon measured
values and inputs. Therefore, the operator must correctly complete
the sequence before the machine will allow the next step. Note the
operator has visual information for assembly provided both as data and
graphical information. A PLC on the press provides proper sequencing
of outputs, inputs, and graphical information.
Without adding the
high cost and complexity of total automation, the customer was able to