25 October 2017 How do you save time in tightening processes? A practical case solved by Fiam
What are the main breakthroughs in the industrial field for saving time in tightening processes?
Optimizing customers’ manufacturing processes is a vision that has always steered Fiam. Our Research and Development team is consistently engaged in innovating solutions with a view to boosting tightening process efficiency, optimizing the incidence of the labour cost and improving manufacturing process throughout times, achieving increasingly high levels on the workplace safety and ergonomics front.
Thanks to our experience, we’ve managed to help various companies save time in their tightening processes. Today, we wanted to tell you about the specific case of a leading company in the bicycle accessory manufacturing business.
Critical aspects encountered in the tightening process
Our customer needed to find a solution to certain critical aspects within their tightening process. The situation before the change brought about by our tightening systems was as follows:
- Handling of over 6.5 millions screws a year
- Over 30 different screw codes
- Two workers employed full time for each assembly line/bench every day
- High number of tightenings, all performed using manual screwdrivers
- Tools used not ergonomically designed and use of manual picking systems
The main critical aspects encountered on analysing the processes included:
- plastic jigs designed for manual tightening systems
- complex product centring and orientation
- tolerances and variability typical of chemical and moulding processes employed in making the parts to be fastened
In addition to these technical aspects, there was the need to:
- ensure parts were of an aesthetically high standard, thus improving the accuracy of assembly and tightening
- address/change/overcome the workforce’s reluctance to change
In addition, automatic screwdrivers had always been considered too expensive. So, what were the factors that led the company to review its tightening processes?
Time-saving solutions for streamlined tightening processes
The company wanted its production systems to be more effective. They needed to optimize the stations required, reduce the number of manual screwdrivers and relevant maintenance costs, simplify screw handling and improve the tightening operations’ ergonomics.
What are the main advantages of a tightening system with automatic screw feeding?
First of all, eliminating the manual picking up and positioning of the screw on the screwdriver; secondly, automatically shooting the screw, which is conveyed and positioned immediately on the tightening point, ready to be tightened. All the operator has to do is pull the start lever to tighten and have a new screw being fed.
Hence the greatest benefits lie in eliminating all those tasks that do not add value (adding up to 4.80 seconds per part) and in saving a considerable amount of time for each part produced.
What have been the resulting benefits for the company opting to go with this solution?
- Much shorter tightening times: – 32% (4.80 sec. per part)
- Restored efficiency and a 25% increase in productivity
- More rational use of workers employed and tightening stations
- Implementation of two new tightening stations
- Less fatigue and screw handling
- INVESTMENT PAYBACK: in 98 days (based on a production rate of 2000 parts per day)