The Creform® Corporation, Greer, SC, has developed a new workstation that combines multiple assembly operations into single units eliminating unnecessary steps for assemblers. Previously, the workstation’s wide variety of lock mechanisms and systems were assembled, in steps, by a variety of associates. Although some components were delivered, assemblers still needed to retrieve other parts and components from nearby storage areas. After studying the operations, Creform Sales Engineers designed and built a new system that includes individual workstations which are serviced by material handlers.
The workstations are built so each assembler has everything within easy reach and are built using Creform plastic coated Steel pipe and metal joints so they can be easily customized or modified to individual needs if required. They have a 700lb capacity, average dimensions of 48" W x 83" H x 61" D and an ample plastic work surface across the front. Kitted components are presented in the large totes on the skatewheel conveyors located at the lower right. Finished assembled products are placed in the upper tote for easy retrieval. Various small components, fasteners and parts are presented FIFO using the small totes on the two-level, L-shaped slide pipe flow rack located on the left side. The severe angle of these enhances visibility and physical access to the components in these totes. The two return levels above permit empty totes to be easily serviced.
The computer monitor communicates work instructions, quality documents and production schedules, while the top section, in addition to holding the florescent light and tool balancer, supports an Andon light that is connected to a switch box located under the work surface. This permits the operator to signal OK, Need Parts, and Line Down to the line supervisor and/or material handler. The workstations are easily maneuverable thanks to six, large diameter swivel casters, four with locking brakes to hold the workstations securely in position. Both wheel and swivel are locked when the brakes are engaged.
The workstations can easily be fitted with a variety of Creform accessories if needed. Further customization may include building them with ESD pipe and components for static sensitive products as well as Creform 42mm pipe and joints for applications requiring higher strength work surfaces in addition to different pipe colors to code them by department or use. The Creform System is used to create an array of material handling and efficiency enhancing devices, including special purpose and trailer carts, flow racks, roller conveyors, workstations, and AGV/AGCs. The Creform System is a proven component in continuous improvement and Lean Manufacturing programs, and the company partners with customers in developing and implementing these programs.