MEM250 automate manual assembly line using modular automation system

Assembly Automation

ISSN: 0144-5154

Article publication date: 1 December 2002




(2002), "MEM250 automate manual assembly line using modular automation system", Assembly Automation, Vol. 22 No. 4.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2002, MCB UP Limited

MEM250 automate manual assembly line using modular automation system

MEM250 automate manual assembly line using modular automation system

Keywords: Assembly, Electrical

MEM250 of Oldham has automated new process for assembling a range of electrical switches using a process designed and built by Modular Automation. The system handles rocker assemblies and connector units on two separate assembly machines (see Plate 3).

The Rocker Assembly machine operates on a “walking beam” principle. Here two springs and plungers are blowfed and inserted into the rocker body which is bowlfed onto a walking beam system. Test stations check that the plungers have been inserted properly and make sure the springs lift them by the required amount for correct operation.

Plate 3

A pad print station prints each assembly with a red “on” indicator mark and optical sensors check the quality and positioning of the print. Faulty or sub-standard assemblies are rejected; perfect assemblies move on to a final drying process. The entire operation has a cycle time of around 2 s.

The connector unit is assembled using a rotary assembly machine. The first automated station feeds two rivets then an operator loads a cover and earth strap over them. A press station then forms the rivets and secures the earth strap in place. The two securing screws are bowl fed then picked and placed into the moulding.

The entire connector assembly undergoes an electrical test before it is marked by two inkjet heads with Earth/Live/Neutral and a code number, then unloaded. Faulty assemblies are rejected. The process cycles in 6 s.

The system handles different variants by designing the tooling to exploit common features. Variant components are loaded manually.

All enquiries to: William Bourn, Modular Automation, Talbot Way, Small Heath Business Park, Birmingham, B10 0HS, UK. Tel: 0121 766 7979; Fax: 0121 766 6385; E-mail:

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