Special Purpose Machines (SPMs) are innovative turnkey solutions that are not readily available in the market. Also known as Bespoke Machines, these exclusive technologies are tailor made to suit specific requirements, and they provide improvements in safety, throughput, efficiency, and quality. Customizing SPMs is a service that requires specialized knowledge and attention to detail. One such company that supports Indian automotive manufacturers in achieving high productivity is Atma Autotech Engineers Pvt. Ltd (Atma Autotech).
Founded in 1998 and headquartered in Manesar, India, Atma Autotech designs and supplies SPMs for assembly lines and parts testing to the automotive industry at large. The company has three core business units that focus on different specialties of automotive automation, plastic component manufacturing, and control cable manufacturing.
Mr. Krishan Kumar, Managing Director of Atma Autotech, elaborated, “A large portion of our in-house SPMs are for the automotive industry. Along with developing customized SPM for testing and assembly line processes, Atma Autotech also produces switch gears for the automobile market. Our customers count on us to help them improve their productivity. Each SPM we design and build must meet stringent standards, and also be delivered in a timely fashion.”
SPMs are an essential part of automotive manufacturing, whether for assembly or line automation processes. In the course of building a SPM that is reliable and durable, precision is key. At Atma Autotech, the measurement process starts from the design stage. It is especially important to get the right measurements at the onset as the accuracy of each component will affect the quality of the SPM, the assembly line, and also its resulting output. Should there be a lack of precision on Atma Autotech’s part, it would set off a chain reaction that can affect their customer’s manufacturing process.
In the past, Atma Autotech used to rely on third-party measurement service providers and conventional tools such as standard bars for its measurement needs. While these methods served as a means to an end, the process was often labor intensive and time-consuming, as components had to be manually moved for measurement inspections. “Typically, inspections of large machines with conventional tools take us one full day,” Mr. Krishan shared. “As these machines measure up to six feet in size and up to two tons in weight, the measurement task is made more challenging. With outsourcing of measurement tasks, we had very little control over project timelines, as it can take up to 10 days for results to come back, leaving us hard pressed for time at the end of the day.”
The FaroArm enables operators to perform 3D measurements and inspections easily.
In a bid to improve overall productivity and overcome its time management challenges, Atma Autotech sought a more efficient way to carry out their measurement tasks. Although the team briefly considered other measurement devices, Atma Autotech eventually decided on the FaroArm® because of the device’s solid reputation. The company invested in a 6-ft FARO® Prime in April 2014 and never looked back. Apart from the FaroArm’s ability to meet Atma Autotech’s measuring requirements, FARO’s high brand value was a significant factor that sealed the deal for Atma Autotech.
Mr. Krishan acknowledged, “We first came to know about the FaroArm at a tradeshow in Korea. Since then, we have heard many positive things about FARO. The brand is well known for its precision measurement solutions. Having seen the FaroArm in action, we were assured that the device will be more than capable of providing an accuracy level of at least 20 microns, which is what’s required for our machines.”
An operator conducts measurement inspection with the FaroArm.
Since adopting the FaroArm, the manufacturer has seen an immediate difference in its manufacturing processes. Owing to the device’s portability, the team at Atma Autotech can now conduct their calibration, inspection, dimensional calculations, and free-form component inspections anywhere on the shop floor. Most of the measurements are taken right where production takes place, simply by mounting the FaroArm onto a stable work surface.
The team at Atma Autotech now uses the FaroArm at least once a week, for an average of seven hours. Used up to 20 days in a month, the FaroArm has since transformed the way Atma Autotech manufactures its SPMs and switch gears. The total amount of time taken for measurement has reduced drastically, and Atma Autotech can now complete measurements in just three hours. Mr. Krishan marveled, “Compared to before, we now enjoy up to 70% in time-savings and relative costs! Not only have we managed to cut down on the manual labor required, we also have better control of our project timelines since everything is done in-house.”
The FaroArm can be deployed anywhere on the shop floor, where there is a stable work surface that it can be mounted on.
Evidently satisfied with the FaroArm, Atma Autotech has also recommended the FaroArm to its customers, who have gone on to purchase the same device. The company is also looking to purchase more FARO devices in the near future. Mr. Krishan concluded, “We are very pleased with the benefits that the FaroArm has provided, and we are glad to have made a right call with the device. In time, we will likely invest in scanning solutions for plastic components at our other facility. For now, the team at Manesar will continue to explore more ways to utilize the FaroArm for its manufacturing processes.”
Atma Group was established in 1998 as a center of excellence to provide design, development, and consulting expertise in the field of engineering services. First founded as Atma Autotech Engineers, the company was then renamed to Atma Autotech Engineers Pvt. Ltd in 2006. Headquartered in Manesar, India, Atma Autotech is active across its three business units – automotive automation, plastic component manufacturing, and control cable manufacturing.
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