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New second job (making soleniods)

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New second job (making soleniods)

Unread postAuthor: CS » Thu Apr 18, 2013 9:01 pm

http://www.ramcompany.com/

I got a second job working at a company called RAM, thought I would tell you guys because ironically they make high end solenoid valves. Although I don't think my background in potato launchers is going to help me much. And its not like they have them lying around.

I work on an assembly line making sorting "flippers" used on the postal services sorting equipment. Current order is 100,000 and they have keep coming.

[interesante]
So each product has 7 bolts, and a lock washer, and flat washer have to be added to each one. So that means 2-3 peoples full time job is to put these washer on the bolts. Similar to this:
Image

So currently I am trying to figure out a machine to do this automatically. After talking to coworkers I found out they were considering a 30-40 thousand dollar robot to do it, but were worried about its return. WOW!
[/interesante]

RAM serves companies from all over the world. Our solenoids and valves appear on many products, including those built by the following companies & agencies.

Airbus Industries
Boeing Aircraft
General Dynamics
N.A.S.A.
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp
United States Army
United States Postal Service
University of Hawaii
700 Series Aircraft
Aircraft Engine
International Space Station & Space Shuttle
Comanche Helicopter
Abrams M1A1 Tank
Postal Sorting Machinery
Deep Sea Submersible Pisces-V
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Unread postAuthor: Technician1002 » Fri Apr 19, 2013 12:43 am

A pick and place robot can do the job much faster than you can. With machine vision, picking parts can be fast and accurate. I get to work with some tech similar to this. :D

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e82e-3MDkF8[/youtube]
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Unread postAuthor: jrrdw » Fri Apr 19, 2013 7:01 am

Sooooo, if a robot takes the place of 10 humans who gets the 10 pay checks the humans no longer get? Oh, those checks go to the golden umbrella the company CEO gets....

CS, you sure you want a robot taking your current job there?
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Unread postAuthor: Crna Legija » Fri Apr 19, 2013 8:38 am

at work we have at least 35 abb 6 axis robots, they do jobs that would be hard for people like pull out freshly cast aluminum parts from dies or position them in the cnc for finish machining also a few armored ones inside the shot blasting room. We also have one for welding.

Every robot has an operator to make sure its doing its job safely, if it breaks down he/she will call maintenance to have a look.

jrrdw, I'm sure if you got the money instead of the workers because a robot took their job you take it without question!
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Unread postAuthor: Technician1002 » Fri Apr 19, 2013 10:08 am

The big difference in automation is the skill level for the job and how much you can do with your time. Instead of seeing jobs lost, look at increased productivity.

At work we used to pick up stuff from a storage location, load it on a tool, and start the process. Errors in processing the wrong batch resulted in scrap material. A process tool that was done had to wait for someone to notice and unload it. An idle tool needed to wait for someone to load it and start it..

Since the upgrade, the number of workers needed just to carry boxes to and from tools dropped. The number of workers needed to keep the system running, troubleshoot and recover errors, and engineers to design the process increased.

The resulting efficiency resulted in the production of very high performance parts at commodity prices.

If an i3 CPU was made the old fashioned way, it would still be in design stages as an idea on paper while the real world debugging cycle would have taken decades instead of months.

Automation has increased material handling and tool loading by about an order of magnitude.

Simulation..
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fo7BtK7cO7k[/youtube]

Reality. This reduces workplace injuries, reduces mistakes, reduces costs, and is what makes a sub $300 Chromebook possible. If all done by hand, there would still be no laptops under $1000. This is how it is possible. Yes I work with these in real life.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVQZWt7lNpI[/youtube]

In short if you are not efficient in manufacturing, you are not competitive in the market and will go bust.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=4Q_n4vdyZzc[/youtube]
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Last edited by Technician1002 on Fri Apr 19, 2013 10:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postAuthor: POLAND_SPUD » Fri Apr 19, 2013 10:28 am

Heh I googled RAM solenoids and found their website

the first thing you see is a picture of a tank with caption Your design solution
Heh not bad I almost want that to be my design solution

then as I was browsing through their product range I noticed this
Common types of solenoids valves include:

Two way, three way and four way
Pilot Operated
In line
Spool
Cartridge
Co-axial
Proportional
Latching
Position
Butterfly


....and I Ji#### in my pants
:D




ohh and I am affraid jrrdw might be right on this...
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Unread postAuthor: mako » Fri Apr 19, 2013 10:35 am

Actually guys, the problem of job loss isn't really a valid one in the long run.
In the short term I agree, there will be some job loss, but the increased efficiency makes for increased profits and money, and therefore increase spending. This makes for more jobs somewhere else. As Technician1002 so excellently points out, the 300$ computers wouldn't be possible by hand, so the robots actually make jobs that wouldn't otherwise exist.

Go for it CS, your boss might be willing to give you a raise for increased production and reduced costs. To do it, try Arduino maybe?
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Unread postAuthor: jrrdw » Fri Apr 19, 2013 4:43 pm

I just don't want to see my buddy CS work him self out of a job he may need....
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Unread postAuthor: CS » Sun Apr 21, 2013 12:13 am

the bible wrote:9 What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.
10 Is there anything of which one can say,
“Look! This is something new”?
It was here already, long ago;
it was here before our time.
11 No one remembers the former generations,
and even those yet to come
will not be remembered
by those who follow them.


Maybe not!

Odd how similar in design this is to what I was thinking.

Image

http://todayinsci.com/Events/Patent/Scr ... r15052.htm

"screw blanks from a heap lying in a hopper in promiscuous order, and arranging them with their heads all in one direction, and discharging them one at a time, and at regular intervals, into the feeding pincers, gripping jaws, or other parts provided for their reception"

The V slot with a gap at the bottom allows the thinner threaded shank to fall through, but not large enough to allow the head to pass through. So this aligns them. One at a time it would work everytime, but with multiple you have to rake them to untangle them.

Hardest part will be these lock washers. They are lets say 1mm thick, with there spiral shape they will be 1mm to 2.5mm in height so I'm thinking they should travel in a slot that is 1mm at the bottom, and 2.5 mm at the top.

Technician1002 wrote:A pick and place robot can do the job much faster than you can. With machine vision, picking parts can be fast and accurate. I get to work with some tech similar to this.


To much to fast. Interesting though.

Everyone says wrote:Won't the machine/ robot take our jobs?


Interesting question, although disagree with a conclusion of insanity. Hard to give a simple answer, but the saying "work smarter, not harder" applies.

jrrdw wrote:I just don't want to see my buddy CS work him self out of a job he may need....


I've got 2 friends working here one who programs the automated inspection machines, and another that is a machinist that tends the CNC machines. So I've already got a good word in with the machining supervisor and the plan is to become a machinist. Machinists sit around and talk a lot, 90% of the time, so I would be a valuable assest as I would pass the time coming up with new ideas.

Mako, nothing electronic will be used, strictly mechanical. No idea if I would get a raise, or if they would want to pay me for the machine. At this point I am just trying to get on peoples radar.
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Unread postAuthor: jrrdw » Sun Apr 21, 2013 5:28 am

Are the bolts all ready threaded when they get to the factory or is the factory making the bolts as well?
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Unread postAuthor: CS » Sun Apr 21, 2013 7:16 am

Bolts are already threaded.
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Unread postAuthor: dewey-1 » Sun Apr 21, 2013 8:31 am

CS;

There is a bigger picture that I envision here.
You are not giving the information for the whole scheme of things.
Example: The operation of installing two different washers on the screw, is this per person per assembly station? In other words you would need this device for each assembler or a device that could palletize/distribute to all assemblers?
How many assemblers for each solenoid are you talking about?

I have done system integration in the past with work cell design in electro-mechanical assemblies.
In most cases vibratory bowl feeders were used for each component and then all were fed via slide rail to a common "marriage" point! This was all done via some Electronic Controllers. Saying you need a mechanical system only will be very difficult to implement properly.

Some systems would use a Vision System SCARA Robot as Tech mentioned as a pick and place system.

As big as the contracts are for government bids, I find it hard to believe that no Manufacturing Engineering or Management has not already researched this.
There are some operation that just can not be as efficient as a human in terms of assembly. The problem is boredom ,tedius work and repititious hand movement which can be an Ergonomic problem such as carpal tunnel etc.

To effectively use any automation assembly device it needs to be run close to 24 hours per day except for setup/change-over/maintenance/repair.
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Unread postAuthor: CS » Tue Apr 23, 2013 3:17 am

This is what the final product looks like. http://www.cmsurplus.com/pagedisplay.as ... amR9912837

Dewey, I screw 5 bolts to secure the sheet metal "sheilding" to the soleniod. 2-3 peoples job is to put the washers on the bolts, and then put them head down in a 20x20 grid patterned tray. These trays are stacked in front of me and kept at a stockpile so that I just grab one when I need it. So I am the only assembler that uses the bolts.

Dewey, your talking something like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOm9xahNkLA

It looks like it can do 5 a second or so, and probably cost 5-6 figure. We make about 600 soleniods a day, so around 3000 bolts are needed daily.

This machine does not need to be automated, or zero fail. It would require the bolts to be raked in the hopper, and the washers would be in tube magazines, with funnels on top which require you to tap the tube when they don't land properly. (a slit in the side of the tube would allow you to observe this)
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Unread postAuthor: dewey-1 » Tue Apr 23, 2013 9:08 am

jrrdw wrote:I just don't want to see my buddy CS work him self out of a job he may need....


It looks more like he is trying to replace 2 others! :D

CS;
Assuming an 8 hour shift and the "real productivity time" of each person at 6 hours, you probably assemble about 100 per hour.
1500 screw assemblies per person per shift would require two people to keep up with you on your final assembly.
Do they run two shifts for 1200 per day?

Best case scenario you may increase screw assembly by 200% or reduce by one person using your possible idea of semi automation.
Are these "screw assemblies" used elsewhere or only in your workstation?

The video you linked to will help you in your proposed idea.

If a machine priced at $6000 can do the required assembly sequence then it will easily have a short time of ROI (return on investment).
Even if $40,000, ROI would be about one year.

50 per minute with a machine versus 5 per minute with a human is 10 times.
This would allow you and this machine to be at one workstation.
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Unread postAuthor: CS » Sat May 18, 2013 1:51 pm

I got promoted, and now I assemble pneumatic valves for aircraft.

Metal on metal valves that do not leak! The none moving parts are sealed with o-ring, but the dynamic seal operated by a solenoid is just metal on metal.

We also make parts for the Global Hawk. Cool, eh?
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