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Increasing the performance level of a highly automated assembly system

In an increasingly dynamic and competitive environment with growing complexity, efficient processes are existentially for manufacturing companies. This implies the obligation to continuous cost reduction and the drive towards ever more high performance production systems, which are also robust against disturbances.
Considering this, within the research project RobustPlaNet, the highly automated GRLx-assembly system of the Festo AG & Co. KG has been examined. The system includes 23 rigidly linked modules and has a cycle time of 2.8 seconds. As a result disturbances on any work stations have a huge impact on the whole systems performance.
In order to improve the robustness, initially a quantitative analysis of disturbances has been developed to locate the causes of disturbances and quantify availability losses accurately. On the basis of the results fields of action for maximizing the performance have been determined, and appropriate measures have been derived. In the next step a simulation model of the assembly system has been implemented. It provides results of several key performance indicators for the selected measures and includes different future scenarios. On a subsequent stage different measures to increase the robustness of the system were emerged. Their impact and costs were compared and a multi-criteria decision making tool was implemented to prioritize the actions.

Abstract of the presentation of the lecture by Festo at the wbk-Herbsttagung 2014 „Life-Cycle-Performance of production systems“

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