Monthly Archives: January 2014

Sigma workstation used for hand assembly

How Sigma Works

Sigma offers many features to help eliminate errors and drive productivity:

  • Computerised step-by-step work instructions, images and videos are displayed to the operator.
  • Optional motorised carousels automatically present the correct component or tool.
  • LED indicators highlight the exact storage bin location.
  • Supporting documentation is easily displayed.
  • Data inputs such as measurement readings can be recorded at any step.
  • External inputs can conditionally alter the assembly procedure.
  • Data signals can be output at any step to drive external tools or machinery.

As well as displaying written assembly instructions, Sigma provides annotated images and helpful video clips to illustrate each assembly step, completely eliminating ambiguity. In addition, other features and options further streamline the assembly operation.

It’s a straightforward process that simplifies product hand assembly to make it fast, consistent and right first time.

how-mascot-works

How Mascot works

Three key Mascot features help to eliminate errors and drive productivity:

  • Computerised step-by-step work instructions are displayed to the operator.
  • Motorised carousels automatically present the correct component.
  • A laser highlights the exact location on the board.

It’s an assured process that makes PCB hand assembly fast, consistent and easy.

Mascot also provides images of components, parts or subassemblies for improved process clarity, and videos to walk the operator through assembly procedures. Each Mascot station can accommodate up to 376 different components – enough capacity for the largest of boards, or for several different boards with no set up or changeover delays.

Motorised carousels present the operator with the right component at every step. The innovative eye-safe laser indicator even highlights the correct component orientation, leaving absolutely nothing to chance.

There is an efficient solution when Mascot runs low on materials. Kanban signals alert stores to notify of low stock, leaving to operator free to continue assembly uninterrupted – a further boost to lean manufacturing productivity.

Explore the features of the Sigma workstation and Workflow software

Sigma features

Barcode verification helps validate critical parts and aids traceability. Scrap recording allows operators to log details about unusable parts. A find function searches the assembly by part number, part description or assembly step – ideal for rework and quality assurance inspection.

The ‘Need’ function issues Kanban signals to stores to notify of low stock, leaving the operator free to continue assembly uninterrupted – a further boost to lean manufacturing productivity.

‘Redline’, an intelligent feedback tool, gathers shop floor expertise to build a knowledge database that can be used to improve future assembly procedures.

Data signals can be input and logged at any assembly step. Specific data results, such as voltage, weight or dimension readings, can invoke a conditional change to the assembly procedure automatically. Operators are unaware of this step change, which avoids confusion when assembling complex structures.

Similarly, data outputs can be deployed at any assembly step. For example, to set a motorised torque screwdriver to the correct turning force for screws delivered at that process step.

mascot_pushtrack

Mascot Configuration

Two standard Mascot configurations meet the majority of needs – a Standalone Station and a Pushtrack Station. However, Custom Stations are also popular as these can be optimised for specific assembly processes.

Thanks to exceptional modularity, Mascot is designed to meet any PCB assembly application or budget. Customers can choose a single carousel, four carousels or no carousels at all. Even the workbench is optional, allowing Mascot elements to be integrated into existing workstations. Robotas will configure everything to deliver the perfect system to drive manufacturing quality and productivity.

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Mascot Standalone

Mascot Standalone is ideal where the station is not required in an assembly line. In these applications, a single operator will typically build the entire PCB, guided perfectly through the process by Mascot’s clear instructions and bright laser indicator. We know that workspace comfort is essential for productivity, so the Standalone model features excellent ergonomics with its height-adjustable worktable placing everything directly at hand. It is available in two sizes, accommodating PCBs or pallets up to 600mm x 500mm.

Easy to use and intuitive Sigma software

Sigma Software

Sigma software is easy to use and intuitive. User friendly programming tools make the creation of step-by-step hand assembly work instructions both simple and fast.

Existing parts libraries, work instructions and data files can be quickly imported, along with supporting documentation. An intuitive drag & drop interface then simplifies the creation of the entire assembly procedure.

Sigma program amendments are efficient to execute and archive, helping to support and document Kaizan continuous improvement strategies.

A Sigma station can be configured perfectly to match its assembly application

Popular Configuration

With absolute modularity at the very core of the Sigma philosophy, every Sigma station can be configured perfectly to its assembly application.

Sigma can be equipped with up to four motorised carousels to present operators with the correct parts at precisely the right time. Each carousel will hold up to 50 parts. Add the LED bin indicators, fitted to Tote bins or existing racking systems, and inventory capacity on each Sigma station can reach 376 parts, components and tools. The most popular configuration features the Sigma software, a touch-screen monitor to guide the operator, and a single carousel.

Thanks to its exceptional modularity, Sigma can be used with either Robotas ergonomic workbenches or integrated directly into existing workstations. Robotas will configure everything to deliver the perfect system to drive manufacturing quality and productivity.

mascot_pushtrack

Mascot Pushtrack

With lean manufacturing as its primary objective, Pushtrack models are installed in line, with operators at each station building a specific part of the PCB before being instructed to pass the board downline to the next Mascot. A flow line can feature as many Mascots as needed to balance the materials inventory between stations to maximise efficiency and productivity. This process is perfect for high volumes and small batches with ample capacity for the entire inventory, eliminating kitting and set up time. The non-motorised pushtrack is ride-height and line-width adjustable to accommodate PCBs and pallets up to 500mm in depth.

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Workflow

To maximise overall productivity and traceability, optional Workflow software collects and analyses time and other production data from every Sigma station to track throughput against work schedules in real time, and to log critical production data.

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Mascot Custom

Mascot’s key system parts – the Laserhead, Screen and Carousels – can be easily retrofitted and integrated into production lines, delivering all the productivity benefits of streamlined hand assembly to existing workbenches or motorised conveyors.

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Low Bin Monitor

As part of a Kanban methodology, operators can signal directly to stores that they are running low on material by pressing the ‘Need’ button. Materials Control can then replenish the Sigma’s inventory seamlessly without operator interruption, to further streamline lean manufacturing.

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Mascot Software

Software is at the heart of every Mascot system. Mascot software is easy to use and intuitive. User friendly programming tools make the creation of PCB assembly work instructions both simple and fast.

Many useful accessories are available to complement Sigma

Sigma Accessories

Many useful accessories are available to complement Sigma. From extra materials storage options such as additional carousels, trays, bins and dispensers to hardware enhancements such as articulated carousel arms and barcode readers, the Sigma portfolio has every resource needed to perfectly optimise each workstation for its task.

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Programming Mascot

Included with every Mascot station is a suite of intuitive software tools to create step-by-step work instructions. Among these is an Auto Image facility to upload a captured image of a ‘golden board’, ready to use as a visual operator reference for every assembly process step. There’s also an intelligent Wizard to speed up the programming, tools to add sound and visual polarity indicators for components that need it, verification stages to ensure the integrity of critical process steps, an import mechanism to quickly create new assemblies from existing parts, and drag & drop functions to easily rearrange the assembly sequence. In addition, for panelised PCB assemblies, a step & repeat tool generates the work instructions for other boards in the matrix in seconds.