The Valenciennes AIP-Primeca flexible manufacturing cell is composed of seven Wi workstations placed around a flexible transportation system:
- Workstation W1 loads the base plates onto the AP, performs the visual control and unloads the product.
- Workstations W2, W3 and W4 use Kuka robots to automatically assemble the components. Each robot is able to assemble three types of components. Each component can be picked from two different workstations. This redundancy introduces flexibility into the system, which is particularly useful in cases of robot malfunctions.
- Workstation W6 is an automated control station, visually verifying finished products.
- Worstations W5 and W7 were not used for this implementation.
The flexible transportation system is based on Montrac technology (Montech, 2009). This system is a monorail transport system using self-propelled shuttles to transport materials on tracks
The production program consists of assembling four types of products (“b”, “E”, “L” and “T”) which are different configurations of five components (“Axis_comp”, “I_comp”, “L_comp”, “r_comp” and “Screw_comp”). For each product, the required components have to be assembled on a plate. Each configuration has to be assembled according to an imposed mounting sequence.