If the U.S. manufacturing sector stood alone, it would be the world’s ninth-largest economy, according to the National Association of Manufacturers. Since the 1990s, advanced manufacturing techniques have developed rapidly to reduce costs, improve productivity, and heighten competitive advantage.
Lean manufacturing systems, like pallet conveyor systems, evolved from advanced manufacturing concepts. Pallet conveyor systems reduce, or eliminate, the need for traditional handling equipment used by operators. By reducing the amount of handling, time is saved and precision is increased. Pallet conveyors have become a crucial component for large-scale manufacturers as these systems have been found to decrease lead time, error rates, and operation overhead. As manufacturers continue to devise strategies to enhance operations, automated conveyor systems have much to offer.
Automated systems can accomplish highly repetitive and precise tasks efficiently. The leading types of automated systems include: fixed automation, where a single product can be mass produced with assistance from automated devices that perform a sequence of tasks. The other is flexible automation, which is conducive for facilitating product changeover, small production batches, and testing.
In industries like automotive and aerospace, where heavy loads are transported along a conveyor system, assembly pallets require highly precise fixtures to position the workpiece to the pallet. For mass production needs, not only does the pallet need to be accurately positioned on the conveyor, but the pallet itself needs well-designed components to position the workpiece where it needs to be during production.
Which design considerations are critical to assembly pallet fixtures?
- Clamping Requirements: How will the workpiece be held to the pallet?
- Line Stops: What happens at each stop along the production line?
- Assembly Operator Access: Do operators need to tilt and/or rotate the workpiece?
- Loading Considerations: How will the workpiece be loaded and unloaded to and from the pallet?
- Maintenance/Wear: Which components need to be coated or hardened to reduce wear?
- Weight and Size of the Tooling: How will the tooling affect pallet design?
- Power and/or Air Requirements: Will these be needed on the pallet?
- Common Components: If certain components are commonly used within a facility, then pallets can be designed to better accommodate customer needs to reduce the costs of spare and replacement parts.
At Saginaw Industries, we provide expertise in creating highly precise assembly pallet fixtures for all automated systems. Our senior design team has extensive experience in designing assembly pallet fixtures for use as stand-alone fixtures in automated assembly systems or mass production in mechanical systems. The process we use to design and test assembly pallets includes analysis from math data and motion validation.
We put our stake into practical, well-developed products that enhance overall design, production, and assembly. You can trust the knowledge and experience our team has in the high performance computing required to design highly precise assembly pallet fixtures. We offer a full suite of manufacturing services, which include machining, fabrication, logo inscription, paint, assembly, and testing. Contact us to get started on your next project.