A Solution-Driven Partnership with Invio Automation

ALM Positioners integrate with heavyweight autonomous ground vehicles (AGVs).

When manufacturers imagine the factory of the future, they envision processes that are better, faster and safer. When companies like ALM and Invio Automation join forces, the future is within reach.Positioner with Invio

ALM Positioners specializes in manufacturing intelligent positioners combined with a solution-driven customer experience. Like ALM, the Invio team believes in finding answers to big challenges on the manufacturing floor. Invio Automation designs, implements and sustains automation for some of the largest operations in the world.

When a global manufacturer of construction equipment was looking for ways to improve productivity and safety, ALM and Invio teamed up to create a fully automated solution that will have a meaningful impact.

The challenge was creating a smoother process for getting a piece of compact heavy equipment ready to weld. The customer was using pushcarts to manually haul the chassis and hoists to lift and rotate it between each weld.

This was not only time-consuming, but it required physical labor from skilled workers who could be better utilized in other areas. The customer wanted to see how an ALM positioner could improve the process and make it safer for the team.

In most manufacturing applications, a positioner serves several purposes.

Positioners are designed to lift, rotate and hold any assembly so that it can be accessed and handled safely and quickly. The result is a streamlined assembly process that offers up to a 40 percent increase in productivity. From reducing product handling time to improved ergonomics, the positioner also creates a safer and more comfortable environment, improving retention of skilled workers.

To further enhance efficiency, ALM positioners are designed to easily incorporate custom tooling and integrate an automated process.

“As we evaluate each customer’s unique needs, it’s getting more common for us to integrate with automation,” explained Rob Doneth, ALM process engineer. “For a project of this scope, we knew we wanted to work with Invio, a talented team with an excellent track record of using automation to accelerate a business.”

Combining a heavyweight autonomous guided vehicle (AGV) from Invio with an ALM head and tail stock positioner, the once intense, manual process became fully automated. The AGV drives and guides it into the welding cell. Once in the cell, the AGV rotates the chassis to align with the positioner. The positioner then lifts the piece off the AGV, giving the welder access to the workpiece. Once welded, a second AGV moves the chassis to the next assembly step.

This AGV-positioner approach saves time, reduces risk of injury and allows skilled workers to move in support of other higher-value tasks on the floor.

“This was a complete, integrated solution for the customer,” said Ben Graham, application engineer at Invio. “We’re working on a number of projects with ALM this year, solving problems for our customers and improving their productivity in meaningful ways.”

While the customer is still ramping up production with the new system, ALM and Invio are confident they will see tremendous gains from simplified operations. These improvements could be duplicated across the company, meeting the needs of this customer – and paving the way for the factories of the future.

Ready to see how an automated ALM positioner can make a big impact on your process? We’re ready to help. Give our team a call at (309) 787-6200 or fill out our form.

Invio Automation can be reached at www.invioautomation.com

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