Manufacturing: Routing and Tracking Parts Through Machining Operations

“A reliable transport system to route product through a variable manufacturing process.”

Customer Challenge

The customer needed to route parts through multiple machining operations. Most operations had multiple banks of machine tools with associated QC stations for audit and first-article inspections. Part status needed to be monitored and reported to a central database, along with traceability to individual machine tools for each operation.

Wes-Tech Solution

Wes-Tech configured a Tech-Trak conveyor system to match the process flow. The system had a main conveyor loop, with parallel, off-line spurs to support the various operations. The customer’s product was fixtured on tooled pallets that provide (0.005”/0.125mm) positional accuracy when locked at our precision stops. An RFID-base tracking system monitored the status of each part individually through the process, reporting changes in status as they occurred. The system controller created a unique serial number for each part.

Client Benefits

The Tech-Trak conveyor system performs all the material-handling functions needed to properly process the parts. Raw parts are loaded onto pallets at the load station, and finished parts are unloaded from the unload station, with no operator intervention in between. Parts are diverted to the QC spurs as needed, and returned to production flow when the QC process is complete. The system has full traceability of each part, including which machine tool performed each of the machining operations. The system supplies an extremely reliable material handling solution that will provide many years of positive return on investment.