Eaton Hydraulics site in Warwickshire UK, is a specialist in the assembly of high reliability valves supplied to the Automotive, Aerospace and Construction Industry.
Their product portfolio ranges from basic catalogue products, that can be used in general Hydraulic controls, to high reliability safety critical valves for performance sports cars.
Eaton partnered with Robotas Technologies to streamline the high reliability valve assembly line to achieve the following aims:
- Achieve a fully compliant process that was paperless and consistent across all operators.
- Remove the possibility of assembly errors including automated tools.
- Have a standardized production cell that could assemble, test and trace any product variant.
- Reduce the production time without affecting the failure rates
Creating a solution
Robotas achieved these goals by implementing a Sigma Workstation cell, which provided:
- Sigma assembly software provided a platform for Eaton to create a step by step process showing images, video, and text instructions that could be followed by any operator using the system. The Assembly process guided the operator through the picking, fitting, and mounting of each assembly element. Each step was automatically logged and captured for traceability and process improvement.
- The Sigma Workstation provided an ergonomic production cell that included part dispensing of materials, avoiding picking errors. The universal nature of the system and software allowed Eatons Cleco Torque Driver and Henkel Fluid Dispenser to be integrated into the cell and fully controlled by the workstation avoiding the need for an operator to set up or program the tool.
- Workstation provided a complete log of all process steps taken, confirming that each one had been met before the next step was actioned. This log also included the torque results and quantities of dispensed material and showed which settings had been used. Eaton was able to see the complete process in detail without the need for external observation of the operator or sample testing of parts.
- The level of integration achieved at Eaton by using the Sigma assembly software and workstation significantly reduced the cycle time on this complex assembly as setup and assembly times have been reduced. Eaton has been able to expand the product range built by Sigma due to the positive feedback from their quality team.
The results achieved by Eaton using the Sigma assembly solution has led to further expansion of this type of cell at the plant and there are current plans for another two Sigma Workstation Cells.