Latest Blog Post

New Call-to-action

Increasing Productivity in Manufacturing: Optimizing the Production Layout

Karine Simard
by Karine Simard on Sep 21, 2016 7:00:00 AM

Factory.pngAnother key aspect to increasing productivity is making sure production flows smoothly. One of the many aspects ensuring this is to make sure you have an optimized floor layout.

For example, here at Robotiq, less than a year ago we had a totally different layout on our production floor. This was mainly due to factors like fewer products in our production line, lower quantities to produce and also the fact that a year ago there was no really obvious need to look at this because we were on time for production.

However, with the outstanding increases that we have experienced over the last year, we had to look more closely at these factors. Hiring was of course a must do, but this process takes some time. So we decided to look at the layout and the way our manufacturing process works.  We implemented the Toyota Way, using Kaizen and 5S.

First we fixed our objectives. We wanted to increase our productivity and improve our quality. So we looked at how to accelerate the production process by making life easier for our employees. Then we modified the overall operations and worked on improving them, after which we implemented poka-yoke or an inadvertent error prevention system.

We separated the entire assembly line into small operations or steps. We evaluated each step individually using a scoring method with different criteria, for example, if the task was easy or if a lot of defects were happening at some particular step. The tasks that were more complex were simplified and we worked to have a perfect product 100% of the time.

Once every operation was reviewed, we created a workflow analysis for how the product, in this case a Gripper, should  be assembled. So unless we are doing random operations, we have scientifically quantified the number of fingers we need to produce per day and how many electrical boards need to be welded to meet our sales expectations. Once all of this has been done, the tasks were placed in a logical order. From this moment on we have doubled our production; and we are still increasing productivity with minor weekly modifications to the line.

This doubled our capacity while adding only 1 person to the manufacturing process. Now what is our next step? Since our manual labor process has been optimized; our next project is to look at using robots to further improve our production!

Read more about optimizing productivity in our eBook: Optimizing the Productivity of Existing Equipment.

New Call-to-action


Subscribe to Robotiq's Blog

Leave a comment

Karine Simard
Written by Karine Simard
Karine is a journalism-school graduate turned marketer with a side-step in sales and the addition of an MBA to complete her understanding of business. She has documented, marketed and sold products in the high-tech industry, from power monitors to people counters, enterprise software and telecom testing solutions. She cares about team dynamics, marketing and generating quality leads for her teammates in sales. Her mission is to bring sales and marketing teams together into one happy revenue-generating machine.
Connect with the writer:

Related posts

Increasing Productivity in Manufacturing: Optimizing the Cost of Raw Materials

While raw materials are usually an easy target to cost reduction and optimization, you should look at the other  variables...

Karine Simard
By Karine Simard - October 18, 2016
Increasing Productivity in Manufacturing: Optimizing Energy Consumption

Another factor that you probably want to look at to improve your productivity is your energy consumption. Of course, some...

Karine Simard
By Karine Simard - September 29, 2016

Using 2 finger gripper attached to UR10 through ROS

Hello,We have a robot UR10 with a 2 finger gripper connected to the Robot controller through one of the USB port. We can manage to control the robot using the modern driver and ROS on another network...Read more

ROS Configuration for the C-Gripper

Hello,We have a problem with the communication with a robotiq gripper using ROS. I will explain the problem with more detail to check if you can help us.We have a robot UR10 with a C-model Gripper (2...Read more

How can I make a UR5 draw arcs and circles?

Hi!I want to make the UR5 make draw random lines, arcs and circles on a piece of paper. My approach for that so far was to generate the geometry in Processing (Java for creatives..) and send points...Read more

Improve cycle time when using the Robotiq Gripper

Hi Pros,In some applications where cycle time is critical, saving a few seconds here and there can be important. Here's a new program template that allows you to save a few tenths of seconds...Read more