Assembly technology: Logistics 4.0

While robots, drones and other electronic aids have long been used in the automotive industry to optimize processes in production and intralogistics, other industrial sectors are still lagging well behind in this respect. There are still numerous companies in which processes are still handled manually.

But the topic of Logistics 4.0 cannot be ignored for much longer, and more changes are coming to individual employees as well. More and more machines are networking and organizing themselves completely independently and working with artificial intelligence - it is clear that industrial automation will change assembly technology in the coming years.

Assembly technology

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Assembly Technology - Assembly Automation and Logistics 4.0 in Production

The effects of collaboration between robots and humans will become increasingly apparent in the coming years: It is already foreseeable that the requirements for employee qualifications will also increase. More and more customers want high-quality products that are also individually adapted to their needs. Assembly is clearly in demand here, because if human employees are working in an automated plant, then they must also have correspondingly modern technology available to them on site in order to ensure the high level of quality.

In many production plants, classic intralogistics processes such as the procurement of goods from warehouses, the compilation of orders or picking, or even packing are still performed by human hands. This causes a number of problems: from human, completely natural errors such as forgetting goods or packing the wrong items to production errors. Above all, the high amount of time and work involved could be reduced by modern, automated assembly techniques.

Contemporary assembly technology looks different: In the meantime, processes in production and logistics can be digitalized in such a way that work processes are taken over by robots and machines - the employee therefore only intervenes where necessary and ensures that everything functions smoothly. This not only minimizes sources of error, but also makes production more efficient and faster.

What advantages do Logistics 4.0 and automated assembly technology offer?

The assembly workplaces of the future look like employees in companies will experience significantly more relief and support - and not just physically. For example, they will be able to obtain important information about all the equipment in the plant via the control unit. The corresponding data is generated in various ways, such as with a kind of digital shadow that always accompanies the physical product. It can also help eliminate potential sources of error already during production.

A digital shadow gives even the smallest components, such as screws, important additional data that ensures, for example, that the screw is screwed into the correct hole. So it shows:

From the smallest tasks to the transport of large-area parts, automated assembly technology can do a lot - and with a high degree of precision and reliability.

Manufacturing products and materials no longer have to be laboriously fetched from high storage by humans, but can be brought directly from A to B by means of automated guided vehicles (AGVs). With montrac®, montratec also provides a powerful intralogistics system that can be individually adapted to the requirements of the internal material flow in any company and enables cost- and energy-efficient assembly technology.

In the future, this development will accelerate significantly, although competitive pressure will also increase in parallel. With growing digitization, companies can continue to hold their own on the market in the future and help the economy as a whole thrive through increased efficiency.

Partially or fully automated assembly technology systems represent a flexible and dynamic tool that each employee can use individually.

Last but not least, this also significantly enhances the individual workplace, as both man and machine can exploit their advantages. While the system carries out monotonous, repetitive processes, the employee can concentrate fully on his professional strengths and creativity.

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Delivery of quality products

Anything manufactured by human hand can of course be of high quality - nevertheless, this is also accompanied by an error rate that should not be underestimated. Especially when it comes to products that are "made by hand on the assembly line," it is literally human nature that something will not work properly at some point, ultimately increasing the return rate of delivered but defective products. As important and irreplaceable as humans still are as employees in many companies and assembly halls today, it is becoming more and more important to relieve them exactly where they could affect the quality of the manufactured products.

Complex digital assembly technology can be used to automate processes within which any errors can be directly detected and eliminated or corrected. The production of plastic parts for vehicles is a good example: Depending on the complexity and design of the parts, intelligent sensor-controlled machines and robots can take over various tasks in production and quality assurance at the same time.

Within assembly systems, for example, they take on tasks such as feeding into the correct stores, sorting according to color and shape, or even arranging components for a gripper, which then also takes over assembly directly, including screwing. The system also checks components for completeness or defects:

If something is not seated correctly or is loose, this is corrected immediately.

In addition, a future-oriented assembly system often includes an optical inspection unit that checks all assembled parts for correctness and at the same time also forwards the finished and flawless items within the assembly line for further processing. This not only saves a lot of time, but also the effort of having to move the parts to another location by hand - so the employee's physical strength is not needed in this respect.

Humans only have to intervene if a backlog actually occurs or if it is an error that the system cannot correct. This therefore shows that high quality can only be ensured if production is always carried out at the same quality level. Automation therefore not only relieves the employee, but also ensures that the product is really manufactured perfectly in the end.

Conclusion on Logistics 4.0: The modern assembly technology of the future works automatically

In times of increasing digitalization in production, more and more production and intralogistics processes can be controlled by IT systems, resulting in valuable free resources in a company and thus also relieving employees - Logistics 4.0 is the keyword. While employees increasingly focus on coordinative tasks, an automated assembly system reliably takes over recurring or constant work processes. As order volumes grow, companies do not have to directly deploy more employees in production, but can adapt the processes accordingly.

Due to the enormous potential of these advanced technologies, it is to be expected that more and more companies will dare to take the step towards conversion in the coming years. Although there is still skepticism in many manufacturing companies about the reliability and implementation of the new technology, this is usually unfounded. All that matters is that a company takes the time to automate the assembly technology so that it fits the needs of the operation. It goes without saying that the employees must also be trained accordingly - because maximum efficiency is only guaranteed if all components work together optimally and the processes mesh.

montratec is your competent partner when it comes to intelligent intralogistics 4.0 solutions for efficient assembly automation and systematic process interlinking of industrial production and logistics processes for companies in all industries.