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Challenge completed construction of a system that consolidates all of a customer’s products and processes them across one assembly system.  Feasibility is attributed to the customer’s drop in product volume in recent years.  Lines that originally processed thousands of assemblies a day now only number in the hundreds.  The justification for this line included tremendous energy savings, freedom of floor space, and concentration of the work force on one piece of equipment.  The goal of this line is to allow the different product families to be processed within machine cycle time and with little changeover.  This allows models to follow as the line changes over.  The key to this system is a flexible pallet that can process all models.  We designed, built, and developed a quick change pallet fixture. A palletized conveyor material handling system was also put in place for this flexible assembly machine.  The existing assembly processes were consolidated into assembly stations that can accept all of the current product models with minimum changeover. All of the changeout tooling is kept in locating fixtures that verify that the line is properly setup up for a particular model before it can be processed.

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