A Moving Story

Feb. 1, 2008
This case history about NCR Corp. comes courtesy of Interroll. It has been selected and edited by the MHM editorial staff for clarity, content and style.

This case history about NCR Corp. comes courtesy of Interroll. It has been selected and edited by the MHM editorial staff for clarity, content and style.

Liberty / South Carolina. “Granted, it saves one-third the space, conserves energy, and eliminates monotonous conveyor roller noise. But the key benefit for me, is what I refer to as distributive control. Each zone of our accumulation conveyor system has its own electronics. The availability of distributive control allows an engineer to take a modular approach to conveyor design and deployment.”

So says Dennis M. Davis, senior consultant engineer, NCR Corporation, Liberty, SC, offering his rationale for the selection of the Intelliveyor zero-pressure accumulation conveyor system that feeds NCR’s high-mix, low-volume (HMLV) personal computer assembly cells. HMLV systems account for 20-30 % of NCR’s business.

System planning
"We were presented with the task of designing a production area separate from the high-volume area,” recalls Ms. DeMunbrun, a consultant engineer and assembly process project leader for the Liberty plant. “The new facility had to be squeezed into a very limited area and have the manufacturing capacity to produce from 500 to 700 PCs per shift, per day. An added challenge: Almost every PC coming down the line has a different configuration than the one that precedes it”.

The final design established an eight-cell assembly/test manufacturing facility. Each cell has workstations to assemble, test and automatically download software to 12 PCs at one time. In the test segment of the system, 16 stations are for functional testing and 72 stations handle software downloading and run-in testing. In addition, the production line includes stations for cabinet preparation and visual and functional auditing.

All materials, such as disc drives, chassis and main processor boards for individual PCs are picked, collected and placed on a pick lane and automatically moved to the assembly station via the Intelliveyor zero-pressure accumulation conveyor. Because the conveyor system senses and automatically replenishes empty locations on the conveyor, assemblers always have work in front of them.

Conveying Details
Operating in the train release mode, in case of an obstruction or jam, system logic searches for small gaps between items. If no gap is detected, the two zones on either side of the sensor continue to drive the items downstream. All adjacent occupied zones receive a halt signal, protecting the jammed items. When the jam is finally cleared, the accumulated upstream items automatically begin to move downstream. Conventional contact devices are operated to command the system to either run or go into the accumulation mode.

For NCR in Liberty, the Intelliveyor is the key to developing the comprehensive solution to a complex logistical problem. All of the requirements for an ultra-modern were fulfilled.

MHMonline.com welcomes relevant, exclusive case histories that explain in specific detail the business benefits that new software and material-handling equipment has provided to specific users. Send submissions to Clyde Witt([email protected]), MHM Editor-in-Cheif. All submissions will be edited for clarity, content and style.