Production process efficiency is the fundamental factor contributing to success and profitability. One of the key activities that improve production efficiency is a well-conducted industrial machine modernization. What does it involve?
We present opportunities and benefits industrial machine modernization can give, basing on a case study of production line modernization that NOYEN experts conducted in Sanden Manufacturing Poland.
Machine modernization – what does it involve?
Modernization of industrial machines has a huge impact on the entire production process – in terms of efficiency, flow, safety and functionality. There can be many reasons to modernize – the need to adjust the machine to fulfil basic production capacity plan, meet new production requirements or ensure high safety level of the machine operators.
In response to a challenge that one of our clients faced, NOYEN experts designed and conducted a modernization of a technological line. Below we present the most interesting solutions of that project and the advantages the client gained by the line modernization.
Issue the client reported – too low line efficiency
Sanden Manufacturing Poland is a world class manufacturer of compressors for car air conditioning units. The company reported to NOYEN a need for a design and implementation of solutions that would optimize the efficiency of one of their production lines. Before the modernization, production on the line was manual – the operator would manually load the machine before cleaning, placing the parts picked up from the conveyor in the process basket. The parts were placed in special inserts. Then the basket would be put in the cleaning machines, that did the process in three stages: cleaning, rinsing and drying. The clean and dry parts were manually unloaded from the basket and placed on a conveyor that moved them to the welding machine. Sanden wanted to shorten the cycle time and increase line efficiency.
Solutions suggested by NOYEN and the line modernization process
In order to increase the production line efficiency, the NOYEN experts recommended automation of the cleaning machine loading and unloading. For this purpose, they suggested the use of a dedicated NOYEN ROBOTICS machine system paired with an efficient tunnel type cleaning machine NOYEN EXPERT T 250.
The modernization project involved adjusting the loading feeder to be operated by a robot. This solution doubled the line efficiency. In addition to better loading process, the NOYEN experts also recommended other solutions to improve the cleaning in drying process, for better cleaning results.
What the Client gained thanks to the modernization
As a result of the modernization, the client now has a fully automated production process and has doubled their production line efficiency. The modernization process contributed to many improvements that result in measurable benefits, including:
- shorter cycle time that increased process efficiency,
- reduced risk of the human error due to elimination of the manual loading and unloading processes, which may have resulted in a collision of an improperly placed part,
- full control over the production process thanks to monitoring of each stage of the process (e.g. duration of loading, unloading, cleaning and drying, temperatures of cleaning and drying, etc.).
Machine modernization vs declaration of conformity
Does modernization of industrial machines always require giving the machine new CE marking? Our clients often ask themselves this question before deciding to modernize their industrial machine.
Let us start by stressing that the answer is not easy. The 2006/42/EC machine directive and other provisions of the law (including local country law) do not give a precise definition of the word “modernization”. The machine directive guide does not explain in detail when we should decide to conduct such modernization. However it does say that the machine can be considered as new if it had been significantly modified. But when can we consider the modification as significant and consider the machine as a new one?
If the machine has been intensely modernized, it is considered as a new one, and the user performing the modifications becomes the manufacturer. In such case, the machine must undergo the conformity process. However, if it has not been significantly modified, but only slightly, we should make sure that the machine is compliant with the minimum safety requirements. Such inspection can be conducted by any person with appropriate qualifications and authorization.
Machine Modernization vs modification
The term “modernization” is not clearly defined by the Machine Directive or other provisions of the law. However, the term “modification” is defined, and is the correct term that should be used.
NOYEN specialists, basing on many years of experience conduct modernization and modification of industrial machines according to norms and directives. We always adjust the services and recommended solutions to the needs of the client, considering the specifics of production, benefits of modernization and convenience of machine operators and maintenance workers.
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