THE REVOLUTION OF ASSEMBLY AUTOMATION CONTINUES!
The Next Generation of Symphoni™ from ATS Automation Adds Mechanical and Control Software Modularity to Its High-Performance Digital Platform. Assembly Manufacturers Can Have It All in A Single, Scalable Platform that Delivers the Speed they Need and the Flexibility They Crave From R&D to Full Production.
From October 25 to 27, ATS Automation will be showcasing Symphoni™, a high-performance digital assembly platform, at the 10th annual Assembly Show in Rosemont, Illinois, organized by Assembly Magazine. Symphoni has also been recently nominated for Product of the Year.
This educational forum and tradeshow draw thousands of attendees to learn about the latest innovation in assembly automation.
Symphoni is a standardized, digital assembly platform for small, discrete parts. Introduced in 2013 under its original name, CNCAssembly®, Symphoni remains the only high-speed, high-flexibility, and high-precision digital assembly platform in the world, with multiple patents and over 65 claims in four continents. ATS acquired the IP in 2018 and further increased its flexibility, modularity, and configurability.
AN EVOLVING METHODOLOGY
Earlier generations of Symphoni utilized its patented RSM (“Rapid Speed Matching”) Technology® to address the limitations of continuous motion machines. Symphoni delivered the same or higher speeds with just 10% of the tooling, all while providing improved quality and gentle part handling.
Today, Symphoni continues to revolutionize assembly automation. The new generation of Symphoni features standard modular building blocks, which allow for both digital and mechanical configurability. This modularity builds upon Symphoni’s core methodology of efficiency, while also allowing manufacturers to scale up or down quickly as required.
All Symphoni modules have an identical control panel and run the same control architecture, capable of executing a specific task at low volumes and semi-automation. For full production these modules are connected by SuperTrak Conveyance™, while the master control architecture orchestrates motion to remove non-value-added waste, allocating whatever time the module needs to gently execute specific processes.
Each module acts like an instrument in an orchestra: it can play its own musical note, but when they come together to play these notes, a conductor synchronizes everything to produce a singular whole that is greater than the sum of its parts: a symphony of motion.
Other improvements to Symphoni in its fifth generation include software control called Servo Apps, speed matching to ATS’s SuperTrak Conveyance™ technology, and integration of ATS’s Illuminate™ real-time data analysis software. By changing the game for assembly manufacturers of small, discrete parts, Symphoni is paving the way towards the factory of the future: a factory that is automated, digital, efficient, easily configurable, and standardized.
“Symphoni offers the perfect balance of incredible speed, flexibility, and precision as well as a small footprint and a high degree of configurability,” says Peng-Sang Cau, VP of Emerging Markets & Symphoni for ATS Life Sciences. “The power of Symphoni, and what we are excited to showcase at the Assembly Show, is how it can be easily and quickly retooled to assemble multiple products on the same shift or reconfigured for new products or processes.”
“Before ATS acquired the IP,” Cau shares, “a client specializing in electrical connectors consolidated nine indexing machines into one, which reduced the production floor space by over 90%. Another client in the consumer package goods industry reshored their assembly line without having to expand their factory by consolidating three machines into one. Clients who invest in Symphoni no longer need to have row upon row of assembly equipment dedicated to a specific product and taking up valuable factory floor space.”
SCALABILITY WITHOUT SACRIFICE
With Symphoni, manufacturers can scale up their processes from R&D to full production using the same asset. Symphoni’s scalability isn’t just about the physical modules—it’s about the digital nature of the platform. Assembly manufacturers are usually stuck with the original design constraints of their conventional machines: a system built for 30 PPM cannot be turned up to 300 PPM. But this is exactly what Symphoni does with variable rates: regardless of the speed, a Symphoni machine will perform the same.
Symphoni’s modularity is also better for the environment, as the digital nature of the platform allows it to be a general purpose machine used for multiple products and processes through the life of the asset. Single-purpose equipment, which dominate most conventional assembly lines, end up in landfills while Symphoni is retooled and repurposed again and again.
This flexibility enables ATS clients to maximize machine utilization and factory floor space while minimizing operational costs and time-to-market. Having a standardized assembly platform expedites the development process and allows manufacturers to get their product to market fast. In the case of medical devices, Symphoni’s speed, efficiency, and reliability saves lives. For example, when Symphoni was used to assemble the syringes for COVID-19 vaccines, it did so at three times the rate of conventional assembly machines.
Additionally, because 75-85% of every Symphoni platform is configured from pre-tested and pre-validated building and software servo apps, delivery time and risk are drastically reduced. It was Symphoni’s high level of standardization and modularity that meant a consumer product packaging client could reshore their COVID sanitizer packaging assembly lines to the US when borders shut down.
Peng-Sang Cau continues, “ATS recognized the game-changing potential of Symphoni for its customers over cumbersome custom solutions for the right assembly products and applications. With Symphoni, you can start with a simple machine to develop the production process during R&D, and then scale up for clinical trials and finally to full production as sales volumes grow. And with our proprietary config tool, clients can see their production process before they even place an order. These are not just pretty videos. They are an exact representation of how the automated assembly equipment will work. The config tool is another feature that reduces automation risk. The inherent potential for scalability and simplicity is a big part of why our clients are investing in Symphoni.”
ATS is a global industrial automation company that offers innovative solutions and products to industries like life sciences, consumer products, electronics, and electric vehicles (“EV”).
Symphoni is a standardized, modular high-performance digital assembly platform, and is one such innovation offered by ATS. Symphoni delivers high speed and agility with gentle part handling rates from 40 to 1100 PPM and MOEE of over 98%. A Symphoni machine is 30-80% smaller in footprint than conventional equipment. It is scalable from prototype to full production as it is configured from pre-tested and pre-validated building blocks.
Symphoni is what EV is to the car for assembly automation. Like EV, Symphoni replaces cumbersome mechanical cams with electronic cam (“e-cam”). Which, combined with its proprietary control, achieves high throughput by maximizing operational efficiency and minimizing the non-value process to attain the perfect balance of speed, flexibility, and precision.
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