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5 Top Features Of An Effective Assembly Line

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Are you in some way responsible for implementing, running, or improving a manufacturing assembly line? If so, you’ll want to know how to make changes or small redesigns that will give you big gains in terms of efficiency and overall success. Here are some of the top features any effective assembly line needs to embrace.

Coordinated Speeds

Have you seen the famous episode of I Love Lucy where Ethel and Lucy go to work at a chocolate factory? At first, everything is under control as chocolates roll by the women with enough time for them to wrap each one. “This is easy,” they tell each other confidently.

But then, the conveyor belt starts to speed up, and the pair has to move quickly to wrap every single delicacy. When they let that first chocolate go through unwrapped, they start to panic.

Their boss thinks the workers are up to the task, so the conveyor belt speeds up even more. Now Lucy and Ethel resort to stuffing their hats, mouths, pockets, and clothes with chocolates since they can no longer keep up the pace.

It makes for great television comedy, but there’s no room for speed issues in a factory assembly line! Speeds have to be just right — too slow and you’re missing opportunities, too fast and everything falls apart — so figuring the right speeds at which items move forward at every station is paramount.

Careful Staging

Another vital consideration with factory assembly lines is staging. In an assembly line, there are many different stages to the process of making a product, whether that product is a donut, a bottled beverage, or a complete vehicle. The more complex the design, the more stations and stages there will be along the line.

It’s important to create these stages adeptly and coordinate the interaction between them. If one’s too fast and another too slow, bottlenecks and pileups are created. Careful staging leads to a smooth operation overall and an assembly line that keeps running around the clock instead of constantly breaking down.

Solid Design

Of course, it all begins with a solid design of every component, every machine, each robotic task, and all human interactions along the line. A solid design involves the following:

  • Working with a knowledgeable manufacturing engineer
  • Fully understanding the process from start to finish
  • Including calculations related to throughput, productivity, and costs
  • Locating the highest quality parts at the lowest costs possible
  • Designing quality into every stage
  • Before building anything, conducting design reviews and doing revisions, as needed
  • Making sure that industry standards and specifications are met

Flex Technologies’ silicone hoses and tubing can help with creating a solid design that’s rugged and durable, as well as cost-effective. Contact us today to learn more about using our quality parts for your manufacturing plant design.

Safety First

A manufacturing facility that does not take safety seriously will be shut down in no time flat. The safety of workers, employees, and customers is paramount! Again, our silicone hoses can help in this arena because they are safe, durable, and reliable.

For example, if you have caustic or dangerous fluids that are part of the assembly process, our strong silicone hoses will safely keep them away from the people working along the line, when designed correctly into your system.

In addition, our silicone hoses are made to prevent cross-contamination, so whatever you’re producing for the public will remain safe so long as you use our hoses the way they were intended. Our technical staff is available to help you work through any design challenges you may encounter.

Planned Throughput

Finally, the rate of flow through an assembly line is very important to the business. How fast can you assemble products? How quickly can the parts or materials flow along the line at every stage? Being able to correctly calculate and implement your assembly line’s throughput enables you to make accurate financial predictions and decisions to safeguard your business.

Here’s How Silicone Hoses Can Help

We’ve touched upon how our silicone hoses and tubing products can help with your manufacturing assembly line design. Our infographic below spells out other reasons! Contact Flex Tech today to learn more about our great products.