Modular and flexible assembly line to increase productivity and quality
Complete delivery of assembly line for Danfoss
As a new type of radiator thermostat was to be assembled at Danfoss' site in Bedford, UK, a new assembly line was required. Traceability, quality control and production efficiency were some of the major requirements to the new line, and based on Eltronic's experience with production and Industry 4.0 technologies, Danfoss turned to Eltronic for the development of a concept.
Concept development with many stakeholders
One of the challenges of the project was the fact that the design of the product to be assembled was not completely finished at the start of the project. Furthermore, the project involved several stakeholders from both Denmark and the UK, and the concept development therefore had to be done taking many different requirements and assumptions into consideration. Major requirements to the system was production efficiency - the goal was to reach 400 ppm - as well as high quality control. In addition, the system was to be designed in consideration of the ergonomic work environment of the assembly staff.
Modular and flexible line with expansion potential
Based on Bosch Rexroth profiles, Eltronic designed and manufactured a reusable plug-and-play platform that can be applied to several production scenarios thanks to its modularity and flexibility. Optimization of the production process has been integrated into every aspect of the system. This means that all processes have been examined with a view to optimizing the production flow and that downtimes and waiting times consequently have been reduced to an absolute minimum.
The system can easily be scaled to accommodate fluctuations in demand, and thanks to the modular design, future additions or changes can be made quickly and easily. In addition, the system holds potential for future integration of collaborative robots or other Industry 4.0 technologies.
Integrated quality control of products
To meet the requirements to quality control, RFID tags were introduced to trace and control the flow of products, and rejection stations for parts outside tolerance were integrated. In addition, vision and pick-to-light systems have been installed to reduce errors and increase production efficiency.
To further ensure quality, Danfoss can easily extract data about the production flow, rejected products etc. from the system.
Finally, the workstations have been designed with high focus on the ergonomic work environment.
Danfoss engineers technologies that enable the world of tomorrow to do more with less. Danfoss' products are used in areas such as refrigeration, air conditioning, heating, motor control and mobile machinery. Danfoss is a world-leader employing more than 25,000 employees and serving customers in more than 100 countries.
To be able to assemble a new type of thermostat, Danfoss needed a new assembly line. Major requirements to the new line were production efficiency (400 ppm) and high product quality control. Workstation ergonomics were additional considerations to be met.
A modular, flexible and not least scalable assembly line able to meet fluctuations in demand and product variants. Optimization of the production flow has been thought into every aspect of the system. Quality control has been increased by introducing RFID tags, vision and pick-to-light systems and rejection stations for parts outside tolerance.
- Production goal of 400 pieces per minute reached
- High flexibility to be able to change between product variants
- Increased scalability to meet fluctuations in demand
- High product quality control
- Production overview via data analysis
- Ergonomic work environment
- Lean production flow resulting in faster time to market
Based on previous projects completed in cooperation with Eltronic, Danfoss Heating chose Eltronic as a partner for a semi-automatic production line in Danfoss Bedford UK. Eltronic’s preliminary task was to develop a concept based on input from stakeholders in Danfoss regarding demands on output, traceability, quality, the working environment etc. After presenting the concept, Eltronic was also chosen as supplier of the line itself with integrated equipment from other suppliers for example the testing equipment.
The finished result is a line flexible in the number of work stations, in balancing and in expansion. Simultaneously, quality assurance is integrated in several work stations contributing to a finished product of high quality.
Jørgen Børsting Pedersen
R&D Procurement Specialist at Danfoss
Would you like to optimize your production as well?
If you experience demand fluctuations and the need for a flexible and modular production system, please contact me for a talk about how we can help you optimize your production and reduce costs.
Morten Svendsen Nordli
VP Production Systems