A manufacturer producing control panels for building security systems was having problems scaling their production to meet increasing consumer demand for its products. By deploying a Bright Machines Microfactory, they were able to scale production, while also saving on costs.
For this control panel manufacturer, the hiring of more workers presented a bottleneck that prevented the line from scaling to meet increased demand. In the previous factory setup, it could deploy three shifts of eight workers to do seven assembly steps, completing 105 units per hour and shipping a total of 630,000 control panels per year. Demand for the control panels had grown to more than 1,000,000 units per year– but even maintaining the build of the 630,000 number was proving to be a challenge.
The company turned the production line’s old math on its head by taking full advantage of the next generation of assembly automation available with a Bright Machines Microfactory. Thanks to the microfactory, discrete assembly tasks that were previously done manually are now performed with the assistance of robotic cells guided by intelligent software.
Today, two employees manually kit the control panel components onto pallets that feed into the seven station microfactory. As the assembly process finishes at the seventh station, a third employee manually packages the finished product, bringing the total number of employees staffing the line from eight, to three.
The microfactory increased production by 71% over the former eight-person crew, leading to an output of 1.1 million units per year. It also drove down the cost of control panel production, with a 34% savings over the human-run lines.
The microfactory – which was enhanced each step of the way by machine vision – not only performed complicated pick-and-place and screwdriving tasks, but an array of functional tests that might have once seemed too difficult to automate. Through intelligent assembly automation, the company was able to meet the increased demand, cut costs, and ultimately, better serve their customers.
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