Assembly Automation Equipment Design and Manufacturing

There are many factors for determining assembly automation equipment justification and implementation. There are dominant factors that seem to be common among the majority of McClellan's clients, yet each of McClellan's Clients is influenced by variables that make each automation project unique. To be a world class supplier of assembly automation equipment requires a well developed understanding of each Client's:

  • business
  • culture
  • constraints
  • budget
  • internal engineering resources
  • machine operators skill level
  • maintenance personnel skill level
  • marketing forecast for the product to be assembled

To know anything less would impair McClellan's ability to conceptualize and propose an automated solution that is the very best for the Client. McClellan is an engineering service provider first. McClellan takes a consultative approach before system fabrication begins.

Our Automation Equipment Expertise

McClellan has expertise designing and manufacturing several different styles of assembly automation equipment to best suit the special requirements of each individual Client. Early in the Clients project, McClellan will recommend an assembly system based on project requirements.

Rotary systems

Linear systems

  • Indexing and Continuous Motion
  • Low to very high throughput capability
  • Pilot scale to Production
  • Stand-alone or fully integrated with upstream or downstream automation.
  • Robust and efficient
  • Long term duty and world-class efficiency
  • Indexing and Continuous Motion
  • Low to very high throughput capability
  • Pilot scale to Production
  • Stand-alone or fully integrated with upstream or downstream automation
  • Robust and efficient
  • Long term duty and world-class efficiency

Depending on the design and the type of actuation that predominates, as well as the style of chassis, machines are often referred to as:

  • pneumatic (air cylinder actuations dominate)
  • electrical (servo drives and electro mechanical mechanisms dominate)
  • mechanical (drive shafts, belts, cams, linked mechanisms dominate)

McClellan's assembly automation equipment usually incorporates some combination of pneumatics, servo, and mechanical actuations applied effectively to work in harmony as an optimally functioning assembly system.

Levels of Automation

In addition to the many different technologies that are applied to create assembly automation equipment, assembly systems can be further broken down and thought of in terms of their level of automation. Such as:

  • Full Automation- "Hands off" operation. Fully automated assembly equipment is automatically fed using automatic feeders, and completed assemblies are automatically unloaded to bulk or to an automatic packaging module. The Client usually specifies to McClellan a required "unattend time" (amount of time the machine will function without the attention of an operator to perform some function).
  • Semi Automation- Some operator intervention is required to perform some function(s). Semi automated assembly equipment is often manually fed with component parts or manually unloaded.
  • Automated Work Stations/Operator Assist- Simple machines that are designed to help the operator perform one to several operations automatically.

Automation Equipment Through-put

Assembly automation equipment is specified to deliver a certain through-put. Through-put is defined as the volume of completed assemblies produced by the machine during a specified time.

  • Slower machines may produce 4 to 20 ppm (parts per minute).
  • Slow to moderate machines may produce 20 to 60 ppm.
  • Moderate to fast machines may produce 60 to 150 ppm.
  • Faster machines may produce 150 to 350 ppm.
  • High speed machines may produce 400 to 800 ppm.

There are machines that go slower and faster than the ones described above, but remember that speed is relative to the part that is being produced. A 20ppm machine might be fast in some cases. 150ppm might be slow.

McClellan will apply its broad base of knowledge and full understanding of the Client's requirements and experience to deliver the right automated assembly equipment to meet the Client's objectives. McClellan's full service capabilities and full offering of technologies and machine styles means McClellan can be the Client's one source throughout ramp-up, from work stations to fully automated production-ready assembly automation equipment.

Case Study:
Portable Sub-Assembly Station