Part of the award-winning Manufacturing Insights video series, 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 simple and therefore manual, looking through the lens of a lean mind-set can actually help optimize the use of automation.
Using lean principles, depending on circumstances, helps 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, Inc., 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, Inc., a metal-cutting and fabrication manufacturer with a diverse customer base. They share their experiences in jointly implementing lean and automation to meet its goals for improved efficiency in implementing a robotic work cell.
- Aztec Manufacturing Corporation who has extensive experience with an automated work cell that combines robots with a CNC metal-cutting machine. Aztec managers and engineers share their experience in combining lean and automation.