Over its 140-year history, automotive manufacturing technology has evolved in parallel with progress in the vehicles themselves. Early automakers custom made individual “horseless carriages.” Later, standardized parts and moving assembly lines delivered mass-produced cars. Development of integrated transfer lines enabled part runs to extend for years.
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Manufacturers of all sizes see an uptick in productivity after adding a factory within a factory via an automated machining cell. The cells are small-scale, clearly defined production units, often for a family of similar parts or a product, and they typically include a robotic arm and one or more machine tools. These can include horizontal and vertical lathes, machining centers and grinders. The cell may also include a conveyor component.