Learning process planning for special machinery assembly
Special machinery manufacturers provide customer specific solutions. These specific solutions create tremendous challenges for employees during first assembly, erection at the customer site and future service activities. Especially in serial production, Learning Factories proved to be an effective solution to convey competencies for employees on how to improve production related processes. In special machinery, product specific competencies like working principle and built up of machines are additionally important. Therefore, to utilize the advantages of Learning Factories in special machinery it is necessary to shift the focus from processes to products. This results also in additional requirements regarding versatility of the technical infrastructure. A learning process planning approach which addresses requirements of special machinery assembly, has been designed. It was exemplarily applied for the knowledge transfer regarding the assembly process of an integrally geared compressor. As every product in special machinery is unique, learning process steps have to be adapted for each product. Therefore, a shorter assembly learning process is necessary to cope with continuing product innovations and customer requirements. Around a basic compressor casing that represents the least common denominator regarding product variety, specific interchangeable sub-assemblies for product variants are implemented that utilize digital content. This allows a fast adaption to different product variants.