The Application:
A machining station at a manufacturing plant for recreational sport vehicles starts with a raw steel casting and loads it into a machine for cutting, shaping and refinement of what will become flywheels for assembly. The raw castings arrive at the work bay in large bins and are unloaded onto a conveyor with a mold for the flywheels to sit into. Positioning is important because the flywheel is deeper on one side than the other and will only fit into the mold if placed in correctly.

Each flywheel weighs about twenty pounds, and is a circular disc with a cone shaped point at the top. The work cell is small, with just enough room for an operator to pick up parts from the bin, turn 180 degrees and load them onto the conveyor.

The Problem:
Cycle counts for this application are typically about 200 pieces per shift. Operators had been moving each piece by
hand, often bending low into part bins. “The parts don’t seem very heavy at first,” said the machine operator. “By the time you get to the end of a shift though, you’ve got soreness in your back, shoulders and arms. It starts to add up.”