Smart assembly line more transparent thanks to RFID time recording

Interreg Factory 4.0


 


A time registration system was recently installed on the smart assembly line in the Sirris lab in Kortrijk. The assembly line is used to demonstrate how technology can support the operator in several assembly actions.

The line consists of six different cells. In the first cell, all the preparatory tasks are performed: the components necessary for assembly are fastened to a transport plate during this step.

In the second cell, cobot Sawyer assembles the first electronic submodules. The cobot first applies some hot glue to the bottom of these and then places them autonomously in the correct place in the assembly box. A cobot is ideal for this step: For Sawyer it is no problem at all to be doing the same action all day long and he will not get burned when some of the glue spills when he isn’t paying proper attention.

In cell 3, the operator manually assembles some additional submodules and connects them with the necessary cables. The operator is assisted in this task by the Arkite assembly support system. Errors are hereby reduced to a minimum.

When everything is assembled, a functional software test will be performed in cell 4.

If all tests are successful, cobot U3 will automatically fasten the box lid in cell 5. This is again an ideal step for a cobot to perform. After all, the cobot can repeat the not so ergonomic screwing movements many times in a row without a problem.

In cell 6, a complete QC checklist is verified and if everything is in order, the product can be packed and prepared for shipment.

Log via RFID

RFID technology is used to log the assembly time (per individual process step). The transport plate contains two RFID tags at the bottom. Every start and end point of a cell contains an RFID reader. Each time an RFID tag is detected by a respective RFID reader, a time recording is started. It stops only shortly after the plate has left its place.

By accurately measuring these times, we can see in detail how long the plate (and thus the product) has been at a particular workstation. The total assembly time (over the six cells) is also recorded in this way. These times are visualised and saved per assembly session.

Logging the assembly time at cell level allows for a better understanding of the assembly process. For example, it is possible to monitor in real time whether production is running normally, whether it is behind or ahead of schedule. If necessary, the planning can be adjusted accordingly, or resources can be added or removed.

These times can also be used afterwards for post-calculation or to optimise the entire flow. If, for example, bottlenecks are repeatedly observed, corrective actions can be taken for his. Once operational, the adjustments can be monitored again and compared with the original setup. The assembly line is built using Trilogiq's ‘pipe & joint system’. This allows adjustments to the assembly line to be made relatively easily and quickly.

Sirris has long been active in optimising, automating and digitising production, and has built this demonstrator to make the capabilities of Factory 4.0 more tangible. In this specific demo, an operator is supported when assembling a smart product. Do not hesitate to contact us for questions or to schedule a visit to our smart assembly line.