When Transformix was asked to design a standard, cam-driven continuous motion assembly system for a consumer product, the company’s engineers questioned some basic assumptions about the technology:
- Why do continuous motion assembly systems need to have so much tooling?
- Why can’t continuous motion dials turn faster than 15 to 30 rpm?
- Are cams really necessary?
- Could the tooling be programmable?
Their answers to these questions led to CNC Assembly, a new automated assembly platform that combines the speed of continuous motion assembly systems with the flexibility of robots.
“Manufacturing plants demand greater output per unit of time and space,” says Ken Nicholson, Director of technology at Transformix. “These objectives have been tough to achieve with assembly machines, since they are typically customized to specific products. This means companies usually have relatively low speed, specialized machines spread across their factories, consuming a lot of expensive floor space.”
“If they do install high-speed machines, they are invariably for high-volume, long-running products, since high rates have always been incompatible with flexibility and adaptability. Our goal in developing CNC Assembly was to give manufacturers a standard machine that could run at high rates-200 to 600 parts per minute-but that also had the quick-change versatility to run a range of different products.”
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