MMI (Man Machine Interface) Brings Speed And    Reliability to An Assembly Process
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 de-