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The world’s first innovative assembly workstation system of its kind is used at Brockhaus Heuer

Manufacturing requires fast, flexible adjustments according to the changing market conditions – not just during times of global economic crisis, but also during “boom phases.”
In introducing our “new, patented” Compact vice, we were looking for an intelligent assembly workstation concept allowing a complicated series of assembly steps to be performed efficiently, for instance by flexibly employed personnel. We also wanted to continue pursuing the “Made in Germany” principle that is part of our company philosophy.
We were very pleased with Schäfer’s “pick@work” solution, since it perfectly integrated these aspects along with quality assurance.
During the implementation phase, additional products from our range of accessories – like the rotary table and table clamp – were then integrated into the “pick@work” system.

This new, innovative assembly workstation system was the first of its kind in the world. The innovation: pick@work combines ergonomic workstations with Pick by Light and leads employees through a step-by-step assembly process, using instructions on a display. Intelligent picking and assembly strategies now create optimal process sequences and increased productivity, a clear overview of the parts to be assembled as well as an ergonomic workstation.
In order to manufacture high-quality vices, every action in the tool assembly process needs to be perfect. This requires a workshop setup that guarantees optimal work and fulfills every need in terms of workflow, order and flexibility. With pick@work, Brockhaus Heuer’s new workshop area meets these demands.
Consisting of 22 individual components, the convenient Heuer Compact is assembled in more than 70 complex work steps. The assembly of the individual parts is complicated and needs to be 100% accurate. For this reason, qualified employees and safe, fluid work processes are essential to high-quality manufacturing.

Sequence: the 22 different assembly components of the Heuer Compact vice are stored on material provision shelves (MPSes) and assembled at the new, ergonomic 1500 x 900 mm workbench with a packing-table construction.

Currently, there are 6 boxes containing products stored on 3 lower shelves right next to the workbench. The larger vice assembly components are kept within reach of the employees, on MPSes. Each lower shelf is equipped with a PbL rail, and each warehouse space has one Pick Face attached directly to the shelf.

This Pick Face lights up as soon as the assembly item needs to be removed. The number of units to be removed is shown on a three-figure digital display. The sequence for removing the products is defined by a sophisticated graphical user interface attached to the workbench – a touch-panel PC. The PC comes with pre-installed software and communicates with the individual Pick Faces via a line controller.

The employee then selects the orders from the display; the warehouse spaces light up in the correct order for picking and assembly. The component is removed from the corresponding warehouse space, and the procedure is confirmed by pressing the Pick Face key; the light then goes out. The assembly-step images provided to the system by Brockhaus Heuer lead the employee through the work process, step by step. The complex work process becomes clear, the error rate is minimized and quality is assured. Once the picked component has been assembled, the employee confirms the procedure on the touch-panel PC and then the next warehouse space lights up.

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