There is a break-even point when considering whether to integrate a Thread Verification Station into a production line or just hand feed the Station, where the cost of paying a person to move parts is justified over laying out the capital for an automated device to perform this task, or vice versa. This is typically driven by cycle time and the architecture of the production process. So if you have a relatively slow cycle time, and have the personnel, hand sorting may be the best option.
The production world is divided into two camps, continuous production and batch production. The process can be set up to produce either a continuous stream of parts or, especially if the parts are small, batches of parts. Sometimes the structure of the process is dictated by the requirements of part. The part supplier may have a further requirement to set up the production line to comply with Poka Yoke guidelines.
Most of the machines New Vista builds for hand sorting indicate the condition of the thread by a colored light. When a continuous stream of parts needs to be verified by a human, the problem is keeping the human focused on the lights to correctly sort the product.
The advantage of the Poka Yoke system is obvious, in that there is no human involvement, therefore no chance for human error. New Vista offers several levels of integrity insurance within the Poka Yoke regime. The parts will be sorted automatically, that’s a given. But we can offer a light beam confirmation that the part has moved into the correct sorted mode. And beyond that, we offer a keylock for any part that is rejected. In this, the part won’t be released from the fixture until a key activates a switch, presumably the key being held by a supervisor. This system allows the problem causing the rejection to be addressed before more reject parts are made.
New Vista offers many ways to integrate its machines into production lines. For smaller parts there is the vibratory bowl feeder. For production lines that are established using conveyors or blue steel gravity feeds, we can divert the parts to get verified, and then replace them on the original conveyance. If the verification machine is to be located near a machining center, the parts can be fed via a rolldown chute from the machining center. Or, if your parts are being handled by robots, a little programming can place the part in the fixture, or present the part to the verification machine, and then sort accordingly.
There are many ways to incorporate thread verification into a production process. Each individual case needs to be addressed for its specific requirements and the factors affecting them. New Vista has a rich history of working with a variety of parts manufacturers in many fields to provide a cost-effective approach to verifying threads in any application. We will work with you to tailor a system that fits your needs and pocket book.