Nokia tests the production capabilities of an automatic assembly line
This article is part of a three-part description of Nokia’s experience with screwdriving automation solutions provided by Pneumacon. Read about the effects on Nokia’s product development work here and about the most important benefits of automation here.
Pneumacon recently provided screwdriving automation solutions for Nokia’s Rusko factory. The goal of the new automation solution was to improve the efficiency of the company’s base station production. We have previously written a separate article on the implementation of this solution. You can find out more about the project by clicking on the link above. Now that the new solution has already been in use for some time, we sat down with Nokia’s Ville Rauman, who is responsible for the maintenance and development of the new automated assembly line, and asked him to tell us a little bit about Nokia’s experience so far.
Product development and support for peak order times
“Our Oulu plant is used to fine-tune the production details of new products, but it also has the capacity for manufacturing larger quantities of products already in mass production,” says Rauman. “The new assembly line will be used to test the manufacturing aspects of products as a part of our product development process, but also to balance the needs of our nearby and international customers in accordance with demand fluctuations.”
“The line at our Rusko factory is a fully automatic assembly line. This means that you simply have to insert the materials, wait for a bit, and then you can just stack the completed products into a container—with a little help from automation, of course. Pneumacon provided us with the Deprag screwdriving automation products used in our current solution. Deprag was an easy choice for us, as we already had previous positive experiences with the brand.”
Let’s take another look at the implementation and design process of the new assembly line solution.
“Pneumacon an Deprag was an easy choice for us, as we already had previous positive experiences with Deprag brand.”
Impressive product quality
“Previously, we did not have any fully automated assembly lines at the Oulu factory. Since this was a major change that was important to us, we looked around and studied different technologies and providers for quite a long time. We also did not have a lot of knowledge of the relevant technology. There were so many robots and other gadgets; much to think about,” Rauman says.
“In the end, we were able to find a Finnish equipment integration partner who collaborated on the project with us. First, we listed our specifications for the project based on our needs and requirements. Then, we started looking for the right partners to fulfil them. This is where Deprag and Pneumacon came in.”
“We had previous experience with Deprag products, as we had already used their manual screwdrivers in the past. We knew their product quality was top notch. When we heard more good things about screwdriving automation from other operators, we decided to go with Deprag’s products. Pneumacon helped us to find the most suitable screwdrivers in their product selections.”
The more precise the definition, the better the outcome and the easier the process
“I cannot stress the importance of the initial specification enough. You need to build a set of criteria based on your product (torques, screwdriver tips and screws) and production objectives (cycle time and throughput capacity adjustments). If you prepare the specification carefully, both the implementation and deployment of the solution are sure to run much more smoothly,” Rauman says of the design process.
This article is one of the three parts in our series on Nokia’s experiences with process automation. You can find the other two parts here:
› Screwdriving automation influenced Nokia’s product development
› Key benefits of automation at Nokia’s Rusko factory