This program explores the motivations and practical implementation of automation in manufacturing, and how it might be more effective when used with Lean principles.
While there is a school of thought that believes Lean equals simplification of manual work, a Lean mindset can actually help optimize the use of automation. Using Lean principles can help guide automation improvements to secure gains in throughput, quality, consistency, and cost, as well as worker safety and health.
Three companies share their experiences with Lean and automation:
- Opthonix, a mass-manufacturer of customized eyeglass lenses saw the value in combining specialized CNC cutting machines tied together with automation. The design of its facility was influenced by several key Lean concepts.
- Vickers Engineering, a metal-cutting and fabrication manufacturer with a diverse customer base shares its experiences in jointly implementing Lean and automation to meet its goals for improved efficiency in implementing a robotic work cell.
- Aztec Manufacturing has extensive experience with its automated work cell that combines robots with a CNC metal-cutting machine. In this case study, Aztec managers and engineers share their experience in combining Lean and automation.
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