Since January 2005, several hundred small injection molding machines have been produced on a new “progressive-assembly” or “paced-assembly” line at Demag Plastics Group in Wiehe, Germany.
Since January 2005, several hundred small injection molding machines have been produced on a new “progressive-assembly” or “paced-assembly” line at Demag Plastics Group in Wiehe, Germany. It is said to reduce lead times and improve quality. A similar system was implemented last fall for mid-size machines (125 to 420 metric tons) at the headquarters plant in Schwaig, Germany. The system transports the machines on rails through a series of stations where operators add specific components, similar to an automobile assembly line. All standard machines and many special-purpose models are now built on this system. As we reported in July 2004, a similar assembly-line process is used by Engel Austria GmbH at Schwertberg, Austria. Demag in Strongsville, Ohio, plans to implement a different version of a “flow line” assembly system this September. This flow line will be used initially to build injection-unit components and will be expanded later to other components. “Eventually, Demag will deliver completed subassemblies to the machine flow line, mirroring automotive assembly lines,” says Demag’s new U.S. president, Brian Bishop.