Leak Testing for Cellular Manufacturing
Cellular manufacturing is a lean manufacturing model. The goal of cell manufacturing is to save time and space on the assembly floor by grouping machines together by the specific task they accomplish. These grouped machines, or “cells” are then lined up in the form of an assembly line. The Zaxis PD has been specifically designed to fit in a manufacturing cell.
Lean manufacturing is a methodology developed by Toyota and defined by James Womack and Daniel T. Jones in 1996 in their book Lean Thinking: Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corporation. Womack and Jones define lean manufacturing as any system that follows the following standards; “Precisely specify value by specific product, identify the value stream for each product, make value flow without interruptions, let customer pull value from the producer, and pursue perfection.” (Lean Thinking p10)
Using the lean methodology, the concept of cell manufacturing was created to streamline assembly line flow. As seen in figure 8-4 from The Toyota Way, a common cellular manufacturing format is a U-shape which promotes good communication between workers. In a fully automated assembly line, the U-shape can make monitoring the entire line easy.
When integrating a leak tester into a cell-based manufacturing format, the most common issues are size and information displays. Large testers take up valuable space and often need to be moved away from the line and connected to products via long hoses. This adds excessive volume to the leak test effecting test accuracy. Some smaller testers can be placed right on the assembly line as close to the products as possible but many of these testers have had their displays removed to save space.
This figure from The Toyota Way shows the design of a U-shaped cell, graphing the paths of two employees through it. (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Figure_8-4_from_The_Toyota_Way.png)
The Zaxis PD was designed to be perfectly integrated into manufacturing cells. With the size of a 6” cube, the Zaxis PD is compact enough to fit right on the assembly line close to the product. This consolidates the UTT (Unite Under Test) keeping test accuracy high. In spite of the small size a clear LCD color touchscreen is integrated directly into the Zaxis PD. The integrated touchscreen enables at-a-glance leak test monitoring on the production floor.
Every detail of the Zaxis PD was fashioned for ease of use in a cell manufacturing environment.
- Wall mounting plates for easy instillation
- Integrated leak standard port and with dedicated valve
- Onboard processing
- USB port for simple data collection
- Automatic pressure control that allows multiple tests to run at varying pressures
- Bottom mounted connectors to minimize internal test volume and simplify connectivity
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