From unfinished parts to assembly and packaging, components undergo many different manufacturing steps; these include mechanical processing, cleaning and inspection. In the process, they are frequently transferred to different containers, which takes up a great deal of time and generates high costs. Cleaning baskets, effectively integrated as part of internal logistics, can eliminate many of these unproductive and costly handling steps.
Today, stringent cleanliness specifications and high requirements in terms of cost effectiveness are key features of modern component production. In virtually all sectors, the demand for solutions that make processes more efficient is correspondingly high. Nevertheless, in many cases, internal logistical procedures are not considered when it comes to optimisation. As a result, components are repeatedly transferred to different baskets/containers for various processes (such as mechanical processing steps, cleaning, testing, joining operations, assembly and packaging). The non-productive time that this generates is highly labour-intensive and extremely costly.
Effective integration of cleaning baskets
To exploit the enormous cost reduction potential, Metallform takes account of the logistics needed for component production as well as criteria relating to parts and cleanliness in the design of its cleaning baskets. This calls for certain questions to be addressed: In which manufacturing steps are parts currently transferred? When does cleaning take place? Which processes are upstream and downstream to cleaning? Can parts be fed into these processes in the cleaning basket? Based on the results, the company specialising in the development and production of efficient cleaning and transport baskets creates the ideal solution. A workpiece holder that reduces transfer processes to the absolute minimum while guaranteeing efficient cleaning processes of consistent quality. This cuts down on costly parts handling while substantially reducing the risk of component damage and re-contamination as a result of handling processes – and not least, the number of transport baskets required is drastically lowered. The workpiece holders can be adapted to the requirements of both manual and automated assembly.
Maximum process reliability and cost effectiveness
Cleaning baskets have to be adjusted to specific demands and designed for one particular part or a family of parts. For part-families, flexible solutions consisting of a universal base frame and interchangeable, part-specific inserts allow the adaptation of the workpiece holders to parts of varying size. Such flexibility also offers advantages if the range of parts changes as only the inserts, which are adapted to the workpiece geometry, need to be replaced.
The alternative is a workpiece holder designed for various components of an assembly. The part receptacles for each component of the assembly are designed on a part-specific basis by the design engineers of the Bretten-based company. This approach has several advantages. Firstly, the worker can determine whether the assembly is complete already when fitting the workpiece holder. Workers also benefit from a continual overview of the stock of required parts, and have the option of controlling production or a Kanban system effectively. Moreover, since all components needed are contained in a single workpiece holder, the space requirement in the assembly area is reduced compared to a non-mixed delivery. As a result, there is no need to waste time collecting parts from numerous baskets or interrupting assembly due to missing parts. This makes assembly not only easier but also more reliable. Depending on the number and size of the components, workpiece holders can be designed for one or more assemblies and adapted to different versions.