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Case Study - Seat Belt Assembly Machine

An example of our ability to reduce the manufacturing costs and assembly problems associated with existing production lines
Overhead cost reduction is a core business issue when it comes to supply and distribution in the global automotive marketplace.  On this project, Autoliv wanted Bayly to reduce the manufacturing costs and assembly problems with an upper seatbelt anchor point that included an adjustment feature. 
After reviewing a number of concepts and proposals, Autoliv asked Bayly to design and build a total turn key solution. This took the form of a dual workstation with different assembly functions. The machine was to be PLC controlled and pneumatically driven.

Before the machine was commissioned and commercially installed, Autoliv quality and production specialists observed Bayly’s in-house testing and trialling of the workstations.  The business issues for Autoliv involved two options: import the completed assemblies in Australia or to set-up and manufacture locally. So factors like cost, quality and reliability were key considerations that Bayly had to incorporate into the project parameters.

Mechanical issues came with the project brief. It was essential that the new assembly cell was totally production-proofed before integration into the production line. On the people side of the project, the OH&S specifications included the need for a workstation that would be user-friendly to operators who had been assigned to “Light Duties”. This final requirement called for the Bayly team to research ergonomic issues like the reach factor, the full range of movement for repetitive tasks and the removal of any body twisting.

Important innovations included; Sensors to detect the presence of parts or, more importantly, their absence.  Until all the necessary components had been detected, the unit needed the ability to go into safety/quality mode thus preventing inappropriate or risky operation.

Storage areas where machine operators position springs, catches, pines and latches were carefully designed to ensure that all parts were stored in appropriate volumes, within easy and logical reach, and driven by gravity-feed delivery and dispatching systems.

Other design innovations included; the creation of a display panel with LED indicators and additional sensors and display panels to make sure that part detection data would be fed back to the operator, thus ensuring their safety and helping them to assemble the devices correctly. At this point in the design process the assembly was to be finalized by two moving arms that performed a pressing operation. Again OH&S was enhanced through the installation of a light curtain and protective shielding.

The Bayly approach to this project included full training of potential operators before the machine was finally set-up thus easing any transition problems. Our Bayly team got a lot of satisfaction out of this advanced training activity because it showed how delighted the operators were with the ease of use and comfort of their new workstations. Bayly knows from past.