What factory-owner doesn’t want to see improvements to the efficiency of their manufacturing operations? These can be achieved through various means, but one of the most reliable is to invest in more advanced machinery. Here we take a look at a new generation of assembly line systems that are proving to be a game-changer for many businesses.
High-speed continuous motion machines: offering radical improvements in output
Prior to the advent of high-speed continuous motion machines, assembly lines of the rotary indexing or pallet-transfer system type would have been used to produce pieces to the tune of the low hundreds per minute. Their continuous motion cousins, by way of contrast, can manage anything up to 1,800 parts a minute. This colossal difference in output is effectively down to the continuous motion nature of these systems. Comprising a rotating turret featuring pins (tools) and nests, this kind of equipment doesn’t have to pause to enable tools to perform their jobs. It boasts many other upsides as well as speed: it’s cheap to run, takes up less surface space than alternative solutions, requires little maintenance and is extremely precise – this is because the tooling doesn’t lose contact with individual components, making for perfect part alignment. These machines can also perform inspection and testing roles (running checks against a number of different criteria) and are highly-customizable to suit very specific client needs.
Continuous motion machines: capable of undertaking many different techniques
Continuous motion machines don’t have to just be about high-speed assembly. They’re also capable of being used in a very wide selection of industrial techniques. These go from crimping, curing, riveting, ultrasonic welding and laser marking to leak and flow testing, vision inspection, labelling, silicon application and inkjet printing. This versatility means they are employed in many fields of activity. Perhaps their most classic applications include disposable consumer products (including spray nozzles, vaporisers, pumps and aerosol valves for cosmetic or food applications); medical supplies such as syringes, blood auto-injectors, inhalers and morphine pumps); and other high-volume products (caps, closures, irrigation drippers etc). However, there are other industries which call on the services of the continuous motion machine – electronics manufacturers (child safety plugs, relays), the automotive industry (common rail connections, tyre studs), office suppliers (mechanical pencils and pens) and the energy sector (gas, solar, nuclear).