Indexing Assembly Cells are based on the concept that the part or product is stationary when an operation is conducted (assembly; test etc) and has an index movement between positions. Typical outputs for these cells are 20-120 parts per minute.
The transportation method is decided once the project is reviewed. There are two main methods.
Rotary Indexing Cells (RIC): The RIC concept has parts loaded into jigs mounted on a rotary table. Depending on the number of parts and operations, there are typically 4-10 positions, with multiple parts assembled at each position.
Linear Indexing Cells (LIC): The basic operational concept is similar to the rotary cells mentioned above. In the linear case, the product is moved in a straight (linear) movement. For larger and stable parts, these can be directly moved.
Most Linear Indexing Cells have the parts carried on machined pucks or pallets. These allow the product orientation to be held and add stability in the case narrow parts. Also common where hot assembly is required (where one or more parts are assembled directly from the moulding process).
Parts need to be orientated regardless of the style of assembly cell used. This can be from magazines; Orientated by bowl feeders or directly fed from the previous process by a robotic system (i.e. injection or blow moulded parts).