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Problems of Semi-Mechanized Assembly of Electronic Test Equipment

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1 Author(s)
C. Selby ; Hewlett-Packard Company

This paper describes a method-system for assembly of precision electronic test equipment. It is pointed out, when considering all segments of the electronics industry, that assembly methods vary from one extreme to the other. On the one hand, simple bench methods are used for single and limited-unit production; while at the 1000-per-day end of the production spectrum, highly mechanized power-driven conveyor assembly is in order. It is emphasized, although the precision electronic test equipment manufacturer has the same general assembly problems, that his specific assembly requirements lie midway between the two assembly method extreme s. The production requirements of this typical test equipment manufacturer are summarized as varying from 10 per year to several hundred per month, with 30 per month as an average for their 280 different instruments. Two previous method-systems are discussed from which has evolved the present "Roller-Skate" Conveyor System. The earlier "walkaround" system was used for large instruments and small-quantity production runs, while its companion "push-along" system was favored for smaller units especially if the production quantity was 50 or more. A 10% assembly-time saving is indicated when using the "push-along" method as compared to the "walk-around" method. The present "Roller-Skate" Conveyor System is described as built in 50-foot-bench units, at a total cost of $80.00 per lO-foot length. It is reported that assembly time was further reduced by 15 to 25%. Several other unanticipated benefits are listed, such as taking advantage of the "flow" of: sub-assemblies, inspection, testing calibrating, and shipping -- to provide the required day-to-day output. A discussion of the 1-minute versus 8-minute time cycle is given. The conclusion is reached that assembly time was reduced, while using semi-skilled workers and with an improved quality of the product.

Published in:

IRE Transactions on Production Techniques  (Volume:2 ,  Issue: 1 )