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A range of workplace systems from Bott has been used to provide an ergonomic storage solution to meet lighting specialist Urbis’s lean manufacturing criteria during the design of a new assembly line.

When Urbis introduced a new street light, it needed to make significant changes to its assembly lines as the current setup was unable to cope with the weight of the product.

To ensure that the new production facilities fulfilled the company’s criteria, Urbis turned to Production Design and Supply (PD and S), a specialist in designing and installing assembly lines, which proposed a solution using Bott’s APS range of workstation systems.

The problem facing Urbis was that the assembly jigs for its new Evolo lights weighed 11.5kg, which is 80 per cent heavier than those previously used on the production lines.

With an anticipated output of around 300 units per day, this posed health-and-safety concerns, so Urbis decided to install a completely new line capable of operating on lean techniques and specifically suited to the new products.

In designing the line to meet lean manufacturing techniques, which involved implementing efficient processes and optimising the available space, the main issue to be resolved was the ergonomic problems associated with the repetitive lifting of the heavy pallet.

Various parameters were drawn up, including the use of jig boards rather than carriages and the elimination of manual lifting; the new line also had to be easy to clean.

The assembly had to have good storage capacity for boards and stock and needed to provide simple access to components.

Lastly, it could not take up more space than the one it was replacing.

PD and S based its solution on Bott’s APS modular conveyor and workstation equipment, designing some bespoke elements using its in-house 3D computer-aided-design software.

This helped everyone involved at Urbis to understand how all the concepts worked and fitted in around existing installations on the factory floor.

Bott’s APS range consists of assembly workbenches, workstations, roller tracks and trolleys.

Roller tracks and ball transfer tables are a key part of the APS system and allow for a quick and efficient setup of lines designed to maximise productivity and minimise manual handling, according to Bott.

A manual roller track system was chosen for the Urbis assembly line.

The lighting specialist also decided to install two new lines, instead of just one, with a view to replacing two further lines in the future.

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