-50% in changeover time for automated production line

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Problem to be solved:

As the number of different lines producing discs increases, the time taken for changeover of each line was meaning nearly a whole shift had to be used in order to maintain capacity. The line has two turning machines, a manipulator robot and a High Speed Machinery (HSM) centre.

Description of the business:

Worldwide player in manufacturing brakes: its wheels and carbon brakes can be found on more than 2500 aeroplanes in service in the world with 250 companies and 20 Air Forces.

Products manfuctured on the line:

Brake discs, are stacked to form a "heat sink" Half the disks turn with the wheel and are known as rotors; the other half attached to the aircraft (through the axle) and do not turn; these are the stators. They are mounted alternately. The friction between the discs therefore ensures braking, absorbing the kinetic energy of the aircraft and transforming it into heat. The term "heat sink" was chosen precisely because the discs reach a temperature of up to 3000°C for an aircraft braking at full speed! Precision is also a key success factor in braking.

Problem solved:

With the number of lines manufacturing discs increasing, the line changeover time of X hours (nearly a whole shift) had to be reduced in order to maintain capacity. The line has two turning machines, a manipulator robot and a High Speed Machinery (HSM) centre.

Methods used:

The SMED method (Single Minute Exchange Die) allowed the changeover period to be broken down in to 134 movements. 37 action plans could then be identified according to the following categories:
- organisation (order of carrying out operations)
- change of technical methods (change in the tolerances of starting ponits and change in the machinery ranges)
- investment (change of tack, device settings).

Achieved improvements:

We got to a changeover time of X/1.9 instead of X hours, so an average reduction of 50%.

This was achieved in a few half day hands-on training sessions in SMED and with regular on-site assistance setting up organisational modifications.

After investment has been made, we hope to gain more hours still, to arrive at a minimum representing a 60% gain in time.

Rotor :Rotor à usiner {JPEG} Ligne :Ligne UGV (Usinage Grande Vitesse) {JPEG}
Robot :Robot de transfert de pièces {JPEG}

Customer account:

"The introdution of the SMED method to our robotised lines has brought us far more than just an improvement in our productivity and flexibility (with the time reduction at the change of tools). The human aspect and the involvement of each member of the work group (including representatives from all levels of production) has greatly contributed to its success and efficiency."

E. BERTHOD (Project pilot from within the company)

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