Formula Methods for making Smooth Switch in conveyor Operations

This method (formula) can also be used extensively for making Seiton improvements. It is explained below:

Cassette system tools and parts:
When switching from assembly of Product A to Product B in conveyor operations, a number of problems crop up which makes the switch time highly uncertain. In such occasions, it would be convenient if switch over could be made as instantly as possible like switching a cassette tape in a tape recorder. In addition, two headed, multi-purpose jigs and tools can be used. One head is used in one operation, with the head necessary for the next operation laid out ahead of time so that the switch over can be made instantaneously.

Thorough preparation:
In small storage area for jigs and tools, and parts, it is difficult to use the concept of cassette system. So the whole line should be cassettised. For example, the jigs and tools, work table, and part sets, which will be needed for making the next product can be prepared ahead of time by a preparation worker and placed at another conveyor belt. By doing this, the workers who are needed to do assembly now, can switch to the next production item by moving to the next conveyor which was already been prepared with a minimum of stoppages in operations and continue the work.

Improving the switching bottleneck process:

Following are four different ways for shortening the amount of time needed for the bottleneck process, and, thereby, shorten the total time necessary for operations.

1. During switching time for the bottleneck process, the group leader or other worker helps out.
2. Several workers before and after the bottleneck process can do some of the following operations, depending on the type of operation – tool preparation, parts cleanup, preparation of parts required next, setting jigs and tools etc
3. A multi-purpose set of jigs and tools can be prepared for the bottleneck process only.
4. Switching operations can be done by a specialized group. In such cases, preparation and assembly of parts will be done by regular worker.

Studying methods of conveying parts:
Preparation and conveying parts during switching time is troublesome. For times like these, an overhead conveyor or traction car can be used to transport the necessary parts for one item at a time so that, if necessary, a variety of different products could be assembled one after the other. In the near future, this sort of assembly line for small volume diversified production will be most effective when its design is combined with parts standardization.

Complete operations guidance chart (direction chart):
If a chart describing the content of the next operation with photographs and graphs is handed to workers at every switching time, confusion will be reduced and work can continue smoothly.

As diversification becomes more and more in demand these sort of improvements for changes in tool setting and operations switching method will become more important.

We have organized the above five formulas into chart form as shown in the following page.

Switching Formula:

1. Cassette system
2. Thorough preparation
3. Improving the bottleneck
4. Studying methods of conveying parts
5. Complete operations chart

Main point:

1. Cassette tape style, or two headed jigs and tools
2. Lay out necessary items at another conveyor, ahead
3. Use the four formulas
4. Overhead conveyors for traction cars
5. For each type of operation, Parts charts, photographs, operation direction graphs.