In-line assembly machines are used for higher part count assemblies or where space is at a premium. Fully automatic in-line machines allow better access to the machine due its linear configuration. They are also a good option for assembly in-line with molding operations as they use a rectangular footprint which allows placement closer or between molding machines.
Indexing Conveyors – In-line assembly machines are very useful for assemblies of four or more components. They provide more design flexibility and much better operator access than what is practical on a rotary dial version. Systems are available in “over-under” or “carousel” type Indexing Conveyors. Typical speeds for these systems range from 10-30 cycles per minute with conveyor chains being either driven by a mechanical cam drive or servo drive. Similar to the Dial type machine, higher throughputs are achieved by tooling multiple parts and making multiple assemblies per cycle.
Walking Beams – Another style of In-Line Assembly Machine is the Walking Beam. Station Nests on the Walking Beam are in-line and fixed while the Walking Beam mechanism picks and places the main housing of an assembly through the sequential assembly process. Walking Beam style machines provide a cost effective and space saving method of automating assembly and testing functions.