Manufacturing 101: The Assembly Process

A detailed look at the assembly process in a manufacturing workflow

Hello again đź‘‹.

Welcome back to the Manufacturing 101 series where I am giving you an introduction to the way manufacturing companies operate by taking you step by step through the manufacturing workflow.

In the previous parts of the series, I introduced you to the manufacturing workflow and explained in detail how the receiving and manufacturing process works for manufacturing companies, like Paper Joiners Ltd, the fictional company that we are following in this series.

In this part of the series, we will dive into more detail about the assembly part of the manufacturing workflow.

Before we move on, I would like to take a moment to introduce myself to anyone who might be new to the blog.

My name is Ken Bourke and I have worked as an automation professional for almost a decade. During this time, I have worked on large global projects in different industries around the world.

In the last year, I have started producing content online to share my knowledge through free blog posts and free or very reasonably priced courses.

If you get some value out of this post then consider checking out my courses, joining the mailing list using the form at the bottom of this page, or, if you’re feeling very generous, buying me a coffee using the Buy Me a Coffee widget on this page.

With that bit of shameless self-promotion out of the way, let’s get back to looking at Paper Joiner Ltd’s assembly process.

The Assembly Area

At this point in the manufacturing process, all of the components required to build a stapler are available at the manufacturing facility.

Some of those components have been bought in from third-party suppliers and some of them have been manufactured from raw materials on-site at Paper Joiners Ltd.

The components are assembled into staplers in the assembly area.

Depending on the product being assembled, the assembly process can be manual, automated, or semi-automated.

Manual Assembly

As a general rule, more complex assembly processes are more likely to be manual. In this context, complexity doesn't only mean how difficult the components are to assemble together. Complexity can also come from having many different products to assemble.

You can see an example of a manual assembly process in the image below.

In this process, components are delivered to operators. Operators assemble these components into finished products at stations using tools.

Generally, each product is sent to an inspection station where a quality inspection is carried out to make sure that it is assembled correctly.

Automated Assembly

An assembly process is likely to be automated if it is simple and highly repetitive. For simple, highly repetitive tasks automation can generally perform tasks faster and more accurately than people for less cost.

In the video below, you can see an example of a partially automated assembly process where some of the components that make up a stapler are assembled together by a machine.

The more complex part of the assembly will then be finished by an operator.

After assembly, the finished staplers are sent to the packaging area where they will be packaged into containers, cases, and pallets.

Wrap Up

In this part of the series, we looked in more detail at how the assembly part of the manufacturing process works.

In the next part of the series, we will look at the packaging part of the manufacturing process and see how Paper Joiners Ltd packages its final products for shipping to customers.

If you haven’t already, make sure to sign up to the mailing list below to be notified when that part is ready.

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