Consumer Products company
Leisure has historically played “catch up” with all of their leading competitors, and has always steered clear of any kind of automation due to cost. It is now obvious through other innovations within sink design, that Leisure is keen to be seen as the market leader in sink design and production. Robot automation is now a very affordable option, and has become a clear choice to increase the margins on various products by taking away labour and rectification costs.
This project was based upon the investigation into the viability of introducing an automated system into the press shop at Leisure Consumer Products with the aim of increasing productivity. The current situation, is that the products are manipulated between the presses manually using six operators and the three presses. This particular press line concentrates mainly on Leisure’s, two best selling products, the Lexin and 950 Euroline models that are pictured in the project justification. Currently these sinks are produced manually at a rate of 110 sinks per hour.
The figure of 110 sinks per hour is the best case scenario with no breakdowns or attention to tooling, for a measured hour. To investigate this aim thoroughly the following methods were used: -Computer data,
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They were: – to identify an automation supplier – all cost implications – compare the present manual output to that of an automated system – the quality of manual output against that of an automated system – the impact on staff if an automated system was introduced – find the most cost effective solution. Flavel-leisure, manufacturer of cookers and fires, can be traced to its Warwickshire beginnings in 1777, when John Flavel (1754-1834) acquired the iron foundry in Bilton near Rugby.
Flavel came to Leamington Spa – the company’s present headquarters – under the management of John’s son, William. Williams invention of the kitchener cooking range replaced oven fires and spits and revolutionised cooking, and because of this the Eagle Foundry was built. This was acclaimed in an 1861 Great Western illustrated guide as ‘the largest manufactory of it’s kind in the world’. Flavel became a household name with the arrival of the Flavel Debonair radiant gas fire.
This product was welcomed by thousands, as a convenient and efficient alternative to the coal fire. Flavel have since become a part of Glynwed and have just celebrated it’s bicentenary. After over 200 years of successful trading, Flavel-leisure can – with some justification – claim to be the oldest manufacturer of domestic appliances in Europe. Currently Leisure Consumer products has 976 employees across two manufacturing sites, one at Long Eaton where the kitchen sinks are produced, the other at Leamington Spa where cookers and fires are manufactured.
I am currently employed at leisure doing a five year apprentership, with 4 of those years being in the Toolroom and the other being based in the drawing office. I am being trained in all aspects of the company to gain a wide knowledge of skills. I am training for NVQ III in mechanical engineering and a HNC in mechanical engineering. Project justification The project is to evaluate the introduction of robot automation to the press shop, concentrating on the two best selling products.
Currently the production of the Euroline 950 and the Lexin models, is a completely manual operation, this is both labour intensive and very costly The products are manipulated between the presses manually using six operators and the three presses. Because of the high volumes on these products, the press shop currently works a three-shift system to cope with the output required. Shown overleaf is a simplified version of the steps for manufacture of the sinks stated above, shown below are the two models mentioned.