Integrating advanced automation solutions for improving productivity, traceability and quality, unlocking the full potential of on-site workers
OMRON Manufacturing of the Netherlands (OMN), located in 's-Hertogenbosch (Den Bosch), is our main central European location for operations. It includes a factory, our European distribution center, research & development (R&D) and repair and advanced services, such as industrial data science. The factory conducts high-mix low-volume production and multi-product variable-volume production of Human Machine Interface (HMI) solutions, Industrial PCs, fixed robots as well as safety solutions for the global market. It is an assembly factory where high-quality products are efficiently produced by coordinating product design and process design activities. We strive to improve productivity and innovate quality by continuously accumulating and analyzing production line data, and by exploring ways to effectively integrate advanced automation technologies, including robotics, vision, artificial intelligence, and safety solutions.
Autonomous mobile robots allow human workers to focus on value-added tasks
Streamlining high-mix low-volume cell production requires transport that can deliver the right parts to the right place at the right time. At the OMN Factory, autonomous mobile robots have been implemented to automate the transport processes for components, waste and finalized products. In this system, humans and robots work together to enable safe transport that can flexibly adapt to changes in floor layout. This allows on-site workers to focus on tasks with high added value, which in turn has led to reductions in lead time and work-in-process inventory. In special cases, products are even transported to and from the R&D department.
Monitoring machine stability and optimizing maintenance with artificial intelligence and data science
Thanks to constant monitoring with OMRON’s AI Controller, it is possible to detect process and quality anomalies, to discover trend drifts and to carry out predictive maintenance. At our factory, root causes of issues can be found through monitoring the signals using anomaly detection models, and adjustments can be made to keep the machine performance at a high level. Thanks to predictive maintenance downtime can be kept to a minimum. For example, the time that it takes to resolve issues on our SMT lines has been reduced by approximately 70%.
Robotics solutions automate repetitive processes with maximum precision
Not only do we produce fixed robots at our factory, but they are also an integral part of automating various processes on our own production lines. Articulated robots automate the step-by-step processes and repetitive handling of pieces for assembly, inspection, testing and laser engraving. For example, a robot carries out the assembly, calibration and testing of the touch screen and buttons of our Human Machine Interface (HMI) devices with maximum precision and accuracy.
Inspection and machine vision solutions ensure quality and traceability
Throughout our factory, identification and inspection solutions maximize product quality and traceability, from laser engraving of parts to machine vision camera solutions for final inspection at a pixel level. In addition, an advanced solder joint inspection solution ensures near 100% quality on our SMT production line.
Operator guidance and assistance for high-mix low-volume production
Thanks to our patented pick-to-beamer solution, operators at our assembly lines can easily handle thousands of variations of the products being assembled. The solution gives guidance for the position and order of components, following the hand movements and alerting in case there are any mistakes. The solution can learn from the operators, and based on these learnings, device the best strategy for each product and transfer this knowledge also to new employees.
How Omron Industrial PC production line is adapting I4.0 methodologies
Omron Manufacturing The Netherlands is showing how Industry 4.0 works in practice, with server-controlled line management, projected-beam operator assistance and the first steps in smart data science integration. Put all this together with strictly applied lean manufacturing, and you have a factory that demonstrated perfectly how new production methods drive higher productivity.