In 2003, a manufacturer was redesigning one of its global platforms which required a highly integrated, cost efficient system. JVS Engineering offered the expertise and industry standard needed to ensure the solution for the system would be a market leader.
The effort required JVS Engineering to design a technology that could be integrated into four different product offerings. The manufacturing team was now challenged with how to meet high volume production. Success would require JVS Engineering to adapt their design and manufacturing processes to meet the demands.
JVS Engineering leads the industry with a fully integrated, modular braking technology along with its manufacturing expertise. The team’s processes and machinery were designed to support this product, but this new project would require something completely different.
The central theme for this project was “integration, simplification and flexibility.” Meeting these demands, the team had to simultaneously reinvent its manufacturing process, drive manufacturing early into the design and fully integrate a technology solution.
Concurrent engineering practices were put into play to ensure the design achieved manufacturability success. A financial assessment and modeling of the various process options started at concept to identify the most cost-effective design and manufacturing approach. This was achieved by dedicating a full-time manufacturing engineer to the development team from the start of the project to apply standard methodology for developing manufacturing processes.
The team quickly realized their current machinery and workflow would not be sufficient, so a modular machining cell process, coupled with a fully automated assembly line, was chosen. The modular cells would need to be flexible to accommodate capacity variation, by either redeploying if volumes did not materialize or adding modules as demand increased.
The cell design began early in the process, including working with the vertical machining center (VMC) suppliers, to minimize the footprint of the design. A new VMC standard was required to provide the spindle power, speed, and table strength needed for the machining to achieve the volumes at the allowable cycle time. The reduced footprint enabled an integrated one piece flow from multiple machining cells to the single assembly line.
Automation is very challenging for complex components and functions, and resulted in significant hours of developing programming to accommodate countless scenarios that could stop or disrupt the assembly process. The end result was an assembly line that performed efficiently, achieving the production volume required while maintaining the quality levels expected by the customer.
The initial launch in 2007 for the North American market resulted in great success. JVS Engineering’s technology achieved high performance and reliability across the product offerings. The five-year ramp up, along with the roll-out of the fully automated manufacturing approach, went according to plan minimizing capital investment.
JVS Engineering’s design and manufacturing capabilities proved to be a great success for the customer and the JVSE team. Today, customers continue to leverage our experience with concurrent engineering and manufacturing to bring higher volume, deeply complex engineering programs to market.