Emerging Technologies

Innovative tools of the trade 

By Emily Forcke

Less waste, less time

One essential target for industrial engineering is productivity. While this term can be defined differently for each industry – the number of patients seen during a shift for healthcare, the number of widgets produced per hour for a manufacturing plant – it all boils down to the simple concept of achieving more with less.

Manufacturing, the birthplace of industrial engineering, is a world that is highly scrutinized for efficiency, as shaving even a few seconds from a given step along an assembly line can make a world of difference overall.

OML’s new CIVI Rail work-holding system provides a level of flexibility that creates virtually limitless configurations on a horizontal machine center. The CIVI Rail has several interchangeable bases, moveable jaws and fixed supports that offer "anywhere" positioning robustness while ensuring increased accuracy and repeatability. This allows the entire system to produce parts more efficiently.

The CIVI Rail vise also offers a self-locking "CLAK" system that snaps positioning parallels into place, which expedites part changeovers and size changes. Along with serrated grips spaced a mere 2.5 millimeters apart for greater precision, the CIVI Rail works in line with single-minute exchange of die lean methodology to reduce waste and improve flow.

While the CIVI Rail takes the versatility and adaptability approach to achieving more with less in work-holding solutions, DE-STA-CO’s Accelerate Collection looks to move parts faster in automated operations by implementing lightweight and ergonomically friendly tooling.

The Accelerate Collection utilizes "trimmer, more elegant shapes," and DE-STA-CO made this generation out of materials that are 50 percent lighter than their predecessors. These advantages along with a modular and completely customizable design will translate into production line speed gains of 25 percent to 30 percent, according to the company.

While DE-STA-CO’s customers wanted increased speeds in their automated pressroom stamping lines, these manufacturers can’t just press a dial and go faster. Traditional components would run the risk of bouncing at higher speeds, stressing the automation, causing greater wear and tear, and increasing downtime, which is deadly to production ratings. The lighter-weight components not only curtail this threat, they improve ergonomics and safety ratings for the workers who must manually change the tooling along your company’s production lines.

The CIVI Rail and the Accelerate Collection products focus on improving productivity for their customers through different advantages, but with the same end goal. CIVI Rail emphasizes increased accuracy and repeatability, which will decrease waste and rework in the process – less waste, more production.

The Accelerate Collection emphasizes ergonomics and lighter weights to increase speeds and decrease downtime – less time, more production.

Emily Forcke is a management engineer for Universal Health Services Inc. She received her B.S. in industrial engineering from the University of South Florida. She currently serves as regional outreach director for IIE’s Young Professionals Group.