AFC Stamping and Production, Inc. produces finished components used in power sports and automotive applications, and automotive stampings that have welded components.
The Dayton, Ohio, company was established in 1989, and employs 100 people. It is a subsidiary of FC Industries, whose family of companies includes Barsplice Products Inc., AFC Tool Inc., Dayton Precision Punch and FC International.
AFC Stamping and Production is housed in an 115,000-square-foot facility that accommodates nine production lines, including a CNC bender, end finish equipment, resistance welding, and fully equipped press and manual welding departments.
Jon Lambert, engineering manager for AFC Stamping and Production, Inc., is responsible for capital expenditure, continuous improvement, plant layout and process and tooling concepts, and supports the company’s lean manufacturing initiatives and internal and external customer requirements.Before adding a robot to the workforce, the product mix was produced by an outside contractor. Prior to outsourcing, the assemblies were welded manually, creating several disadvantages, including cost, lack of manpower, operator control of quality and poor product flows.
These disadvantages and several additional criteria led to the company’s decision to consider a robotic solution to improve its product mix. The criteria included repeatability, flexibility, the availability of personnel, which means that the robot eliminated the need for skilled welders, ability to eliminate load time from the time needed to manufacture one unit, improved internal and external quality, and increased throughput.
After two months of research on robots, AFC Stamping and Production determined the U2 cell from ABB Robotics (www.abb.com) would fit its needs. ABB Robotics was selected based on past history with AFC Stamping and Production, pricing, quick changeover time, and the cell’s compact design.
AFC Stamping and Production has worked with ABB Robotics for six years.
However, AFC Stamping and Production also picked ABB Robotics because of the company’s competitive pricing.
“The U2 cell configuration allowed us to achieve quick change tooling and handling, so multiple part numbers can be run through the cell in any given shift. In addition, changeover time is less than 10 minutes – from the last good piece to the first good piece,