Nations Photo Lab
Nations Photo Lab challenged DVF to automate production of their ornamental photo cubes.  There were two clear objectives. The
first was to provide a short term solution which would alleviate current production pitfalls. The second was to fully automate cube production. DVF designed and fabricated prototype workstations which were semi-automated but could be used in everyday production in the factory. These individual stations were used as a knowledge base for the development of a fully automated system. Currently, DVF is designing and fabricating a palletized indexing table which will incorporate all facets of cube production into one workcell. This approach incorporates a forming fixture, collaborative robot, and glue
application system.
Prior to DVF’s involvement, fifty temporary employees were required to produce cubes for the holiday season.  Quality issues proved to be a constant problem.  With the implementation of the semiautomated
workstations, the required workforce was reduced to a dozen employees.  Nations Photo received a quality commendation from their largest customer.  The expectation is that three employees
will be required for production upon delivery of the indexing workcell. This assembly will further reduce handling equating to even higher quality levels and increased production rates.
Volvo PTO assemblies vary in size and configuration. Due to this, most are hand assembled by factory personnel. In the past, the base PTOs were assembled on workbenches without the aid of vises, fixtures, or proper safety equipment. Due to the inherent safety concerns, Volvo enlisted DVF to come up with a more efficient, safer approach.
DVF designed and fabricated the PTO manipulator to meet those needs. This design provides a secure means to capture and present the PTO base units to an operator for the installation of additional components. It allows for 180 degrees of rotation to aid in this process. The unit is driven by an AC motor and gear reducer. The PTOs are secured on the platform with removable pins. Embedded sensors ensure that the operator cannot operate the unit without the use of the safety pins. Additional safety features are toggle and enable switches which act as a two-hand trip. The manipulator is a safe, ergonomic means to assemble PTOs.