Automation Products Ease High-Mix, Low-Volume Production
IMTS 2018: Fastems LLC’s automation products are designed to handle high-mix, low-volume production.
Fastems LLC’s automation products are designed to handle high-mix, low-volume production. Products on display include the company’s FMS One fully-configurable, machine tool pallet automation system, Manufacturing Management Software (MMS) for manually-operated work cells and robotic automation control, and a compact loading robot cell called Halter Load Assistant, displayed in partnership with Halter CNC.
Additional automation equipment includes extendable and flexible manufacturing systems, robot applications, and control software; stacker cranes; conveyors; loading/unloading stations; pallet magazines and assembly organizers; and raw material stations. These systems have open interfaces and can be incorporated with most modern CNC machine tool and auxiliary equipment brands, the company says. Typical applications range from joining two machine tools together with Flexible Palletized Container (FPC), to factory-wide, flexible manufacturing systems.
The latest version of MMS adds the ability to guide and control manually-operated work cells. The software is also said to automatically read and manage orders from an ERP system; plan, schedule and simulate production in advance; make changes automatically to the production plan based on changes in orders, available tools or materials; alert operators to upcoming production stops and resource shortages; reduce paperwork; and provide an overview of the entire production workflow.
Robotic automation is transforming a job that was perhaps a machine operator’s least-favorite work assignment into one that is not a heavy lift.
Custom engineered workholding fixtures are key to the effectiveness of an unusual Automated Production System (APS) recently installed at Kurt Manufacturing. It helps that one of this company’s specialties is custom engineered workholding fixtures.
Expanding capacity into the unattended hours calls for counterintuitive new ways of thinking about the work.