Development of an automatic online inspection module with total integration between assembly processes

Pao Yue-kong Library Electronic Theses Database

Development of an automatic online inspection module with total integration between assembly processes


Author: Chan, Yue-wing Edwin
Title: Development of an automatic online inspection module with total integration between assembly processes
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2000
Subject: Engineering inspection -- Automation
Quality function deployment
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Multi-disciplinary Studies
Dept. of Manufacturing Engineering
Pages: iv, 130 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record:
Abstract: The application of modular approach in design and QFD are the major tools in making the project a success. The impact of using QFD in design not only systemizes the design process but also provides a structure for involving all disciplines throughout the development process and requires ongoing communication. The impact can be seen as the project proceeds. By adopting the modular approach in designing the system, each automation element is screened and selected systematically based on the determined criteria. A well-designed magazine can make the automated process run smoothly and also help in increasing the productivity. The CROP is designed by the QFD approach so that the design targets are well understood before the design starts. With customer integration, integration between engineering and production, the design of the magazine turned out to be as practical as cost saving. By applying the modular approach, the inspection module is designed by screening out the most suitable elements by objectives. On the project management side, few tools such as PERT, are used in monitoring the progress of the project. Each team member understood well enough to handle the tasks by means of the responsibility matrix. During the trial stage and evaluation stage, many "bugs" were found. Most of them are due to minor blockages and reliability issues. Some of them are overcome by modifying the existing design such as the path divider of the loading module. Others still require longer time in production in order to see the actual effect and stability. On the other hand, the valuable feedback from production helps a lot in modifying the CROP magazine, which is one of the major elements in the project. The result of implementing the module is satisfactory. With the implementation of CROP, more than 90% of the original labour force is saved. The total output using a single head inspection module is 113 pieces per minute, which is 19% lower than the estimated value. Installing one more set of inspection module can double the output. The introduction of the buffer with feedback control solves the problem of line balancing. The total investment including labour and materials is accounted to be $450,000, which stands for the payback period of 5.5 months. In view of investment, the setup is beneficial in both Hong Kong plant and China plant. The maintenance cost of the CROP module is estimated to be around $15,000 per year with a down time of less than 5 minutes per maintenance. After implementing the project, both the productivity and the quality are enhanced. The production has become and the project will become the role model for the other similar assembly lines. Continuous training and improvement will be carried out in the future in order to make the project a long-term success.

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