Drives and Control Solutions

Motors, Control Solutions, Power Transmission and Advanced Motion Technology                                                                 

February 3, 2020

Last fall Drives & Control Solutions had the opportunity to tour Yaskawa America’s primary low voltage drive production facility. The facility is located in  Buffalo Grove, IL, just outside of Chicago. Hosting both an assembly facility and roughly 100,000 sq/ft warehouse and distribution centre, the site is quite impressive, particularly considering the level of efficiency employed.

Personally, I was immediately struck when walking onto the manufacturing floor by the hygienic feel and extremely quiet environment. This is something I didn’t expect for an assembly facility, particularly considering they are also assembling motors within the same space.

The level of organization is a direct reflection and consistent with Yaskawa quality, and in fact is the driving force behind it.

Every staff member is clearly displayed on a visible board, denoting the production line they are working on as well as their various qualifications including those with first aid experience. However, what was particularly interesting was the level of quality control, which was not applied at the end of a products production, but to every component going into the drive, down to the last screw.

Quality control is implemented at every workstation on the line. Each station is equipped with a monitor that follows the progressive build of each drive piece by piece. These monitors show staff what the next step is and will not allow them to progress without ensuring the previous stage was completed correctly. The tools at every station are connected to sensors with connected light towers. As a tool is needed for the next step, it is illuminated, and if the employee selects the wrong tool, the light tower immediately goes red and their monitor notifies them that they have selected the wrong tool for the current step. Further, every component, right down to the screws, must be accounted for. Employees each wear an RFID watch that reads each time any part is taken from a bin and applied. Sensors also monitor and ensure proper torque is applied to every screw and bolt and will notify the system if a component has not reached the torque specifications.

Once completed, the drives are subjected to quality and performance testing. And every single drive assembled is put through the same test procedures, ensuring that drives shipped from Yaskawa are performing correctly. If a drive Yaskawa-Drive-Pic.pngdoes not meet the expected performance level, the engineers are immediately notified and assess the issue to determine its source and ensure it is not repeated or that any defective components are immediately removed from the manufacturing floor.

Although the facility was primarily assembling low voltage drives, there is a dedicated space for medium and high-voltage drives, which obviously take more time to construct. Each of these drives are constructed by one individual rather than applied to a production line. However, the same production method is employed, so if an employee misses a day, a replacement can utilize the production steps outlined on the screen and determine exactly where the last individual left off and where they need to begin.

And as mentioned, there was also a small area devoted to motor assembly. This was quite shocking to me, as for one, the facility was extremely quiet to the point where you could easily have a normal conversation and still hear the gently music that played throughout the facility. And secondly, the entire manufacturing facility was extremely clean, not something I would typically expect after seeing the motor assembly area.

After completing the tour of the assembly facility, it was over to the distribution facility located in an adjacent building. The distribution facility was established five years ago. The facility is progressively working to develop a more efficient operation to ensure accuracy and better lead times, and most importantly worker safety. In regard to safety, the facility does a complete safety walk through every single day without fail and has implemented strict regulations for staff to follow. And again, like the assembly side, Yaskawa openly welcomes worker suggestions and carefully considers the applications and benefits of all suggestions.

Overall the manufacturing and distribution facilities were impressively operated in a manner that follows the very detailed and focused drive of Yaskawa’s founders. With a focus on both assembly efficiency and product performance, the Yaskawa drive facility is ensuring users have long term confidence when implementing Yaskawa drives.

https://www.yaskawa.com/


Editor's Pick: Featured Article


ABBBy Alain Quintal, VP of ABB's Canadian Installation Products Division, & Mike Shenouda, ABB Operations Manager

Speed and service are key to exceeding customer expectations, requiring more integrated practices, accessible intelligence and automated operations than ever before.

More than a decade into the drive to digitize and modernize manufacturing, there’s great progress and still much further to go. As we move deeper into what’s known as the fourth industrial revolution, ABB Installation Products is making moves to better connect our people and processes and improve efficiency and quality.

Read More


 

Statkraft Chooses ABBABB has recently been awarded a major turnkey contract by Statkraft, Europe’s largest generator of renewable energy, to design, manufacture and install two high-inertia synchronous condenser systems for the Lister Drive Greener Grid project at Liverpool in Northwest England.

The innovative project will play a key role in stabilizing the local grid to handle an increased amount of wind and solar power. This will help National Grid meet its target of operating a zero-carbon electricity system by 2025.

Read More


 

Product News

  • Prev
FLIR Systems recently announced the availability of the Extech DV690, its first non-contact high ...
Omron Automation Americas recently launched its new NXR I/O platform that provides an ...
The Series 670 NCC Subminiature Connectors expand the binder product range with a system for ...
Single Phase Power Solutions has partnered with Yaskawa America to incorporate their VFD and ...
The Fluke 1550C performs digital insulation testing up to 5 kV, and makes motor maintenance easier ...
The Yaskawa GA800 drive provides the ultimate combination of power, ease of use, flexibility, and ...
The new modular safety relay myPNOZ is produced individually according to your ...
SEW-EURODRIVE's servo gear units stand for dynamics and precision. They feature a sturdy, ...
With the revolutionary ctrlX AUTOMATION platform from Bosch Rexroth, users can take advantage of an ...
Enclosed starters developed for switching and protecting three-phase and single-phase electric ...

New Product

 

 

Yaskawa Partnership with Single Phase Power SolutionsSingle Phase Power Solutions has partnered with Yaskawa America to incorporate their VFD and Digital Single-Phase Converters within Single Phase’ engineered power systems.  Availability of these proven, digital solutions enhances SPPS’ capabilities to engineer custom designs based on application-specific parameters to deliver clean, stable, reliable three-phase power from single phase utility service. 

In many areas of the country, it is prohibitively expensive to extend three-phase power, forcing customers to choose among problematic options such as static or rotary phase converters, or derating three-phase VFDs, which can produce harmful harmonics that can damage sensitive electronics.  

Read More


 

Latest News

  • Prev
Allied Electronics & Automation has strengthened its robust roster of more than 500 world-class ...
Keeping workers safe and keeping the production line going may seem contradictory, but in most ...
The design of HVAC systems poses unique challenges for things like motor control and circuit ...
ABB has provided electrification, connected control and operations management systems, ...
With interest in driverless cars increasing all the time, and with car manufacturers looking for ...
Tundra was recently excited to announce that they’re now a part of the Wajax Corporation. Be sure ...
In October of 2020, orders in the mechanical and plant engineering sector matched the previous ...
Kerrwil Publications Great Place to Work. Certified December 2019 - December 2020

538 Elizabeth Street, Midland,Ontario, Canada L4R2A3 +1 705 527 7666
©2021 All rights reserved

Use of this Site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy Policy (effective 1.1.2016)
The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Kerrwil