There are many tools out there to help your factory get lean. Automation is probably the fastest way, improving efficiencies, minimizing costly errors, and empowering workers to be more productive across the factory floor. One of the areas where simple and smart automation can really payoff is sorting and assembly.
Making sure your workers have easy access to the right information at the right time eliminates guesswork, frustration and time wasted searching for parts and instructions. Giving them tools that are fast and easy to learn, and fun to use, enables them to do more, better.
2 key workstations where important benefits can be generated
Take sorting as an example. With each part identifiable with a scannable barcode label (produced from your system or ours), the operator simply scans the label and is instantly rewarded with visual guides on both their computer screen and at the physical sorting bin knowing exactly where it goes (see how in the next section). Zero guesswork.
Another example is at the assembly station, where the assembler scans that same barcode label (yes, that’s also how you can track any item and know exactly where it is in the factory!). All the necessary assembly instructions and 3D visuals appear on their workstation screen, information that has been automatically imported directly from your CAD/CAM engineering software.
Leverage the hidden potential of your existing CAD/CAM engineering software
These are just two of the ways Web-Cab’s PRODUCTION Assistant brings your factory to the next level through automation. Not only at specific workstations, but as mentioned, it imports all key information form your existing CAD/CAM and allows managers to track and trace every person’s time on a job, real-time project status, and trace all parts and components across the entire shop floor. What’s more, it’s a modular system designed specifically to simplify and automate processes for the cabinet making industry. That enables you to configure it to fit your factory’s specific needs and implement it at the stations that will bring you the most value first. Each station helping to organize the next.
It’s been proven to reduce assembly time by 50%!
PRODUCTION Assistant works most efficiently with a fixed sorting rack with designated compartments (bins) for each product for assembly. (If you prefer using a mobile rack, it works too.)
The fixed rack system is designed to help you maximize productivity and is so simple to use, because in this way you don’t need to wait until all parts are gathered before sorting. You can start bins as items are ready, and easily know when they are complete. Here’s how it works:
Sorting in – Nothing left to chance!
By scanning the label of any item, blue LED lights on the fixed rack flash above the designated bin to show the sorter exactly where to place that item. No searching. No guessing. That same fixed rack is represented on the workstation screen, indicating which project bins are in progress, which are complete and ready for assembly, and which are blocked because of missing items. This keeps things extremely organized regardless of how chaotic they may be coming in from your various machines (CNC, edge bander, doweling). As soon as the last item is scanned and a bin is complete, assemblers and any other key people are automatically notified.
Furthermore, clicking on any bin on the screen a complete list of parts and components appears, indicating if it’s been sorted or is missing. Total visibility, total control. Doesn’t get easier it’s a real “Child Play”. Eliminates manual sorting errors and saves tremendous time.
Sorting out – Ready to assemble!
Seamlessly moving products through the production workflow from sorting to assembly is fully automated and just as convenient, organized, and efficient. On the other side of that same fixed rack, green LED lights indicate which bin is complete and ready for assembly. Workers simply take a part, scan the barcode label, and have instant access to the latest information and 3D instructions about how to assemble that product. Information at their fingertips imported directly from your engineering systems means they can focus on their craft instead of searching or working on older versions of instructions.
Increased control of production
For managers, what’s truly exceptional is the level of control you have over what’s being worked on to ensure priorities are met and production is optimized, always based on real-time information. One example is that you can program PRODUCTION Assistant so the green LED lights indicate which job is priority for assembly. So, you can have several bins ready at sorting, but you can specify what needs to be assembled first, all based on the project criteria and automated workflows in the system. Some examples could be prioritizing based on delivery date, or synchronization of the assembly line so if the doors or drawers aren’t ready, they don’t start assembling the lower cabinets yet.
By empowering operators with the tools to make their day-to-day easier and more rewarding, their productivity levels will shoot through the roof. In turn, you mitigate labor shortage, improve throughput, and minimize downtime.
There are many other automation features to optimize sorting, shipping, and production in general, all helping you bring your factory to the next level with the people and systems you already have in place.
We’d love to discuss your needs and see if PRODUCTION Assistant is the perfect fit for you.