Case story

Optimal workflows by adapting the working height

At Danfoss in Denmark, the employees at the production plant for inverters always work at the optimal working height.

Danfoss is located in Nordborg on the Danish island of Als. Mads Clausen founded the Danfoss Group in 1933 and today it employs approximately 24,000 employees worldwide. After an extensive modernisation, a new manufacturing facility for inverters has now been set up in one of the first manufacturing halls.

The entire facility was planned and built from scratch. Fully automated conveyer systems transport semi-finished components to the individual workstations. In order to optimise these ergonomically, the individual stations are adapted to the respective employee by means of electric lifting columns.

Gebhardt Fördertechnik developed the entire conveyer system for the production of inverters. The system has a length of 1,000 metres. Gebhardt offers products and services for transport and assembly systems as well as storage, sorting and distribution technology.

The close cooperation with the respective customer is particularly important to the company from Sinsheim. The close cooperation with Danfoss generated the idea of adjusting the individual workstations electrically by means of  LINAK lifting columns.

The individual cells where the inverters are extended at certain components are directly connected to the conveyor system by means of a switch. The height of the island must be at the same height when transferring the inverter.

As soon as an employee starts work, his workplace with the semi-finished inverter is adapted in height so that back-friendly work is possible.

"We clearly recognise a trend towards an ergonomically optimised workplace," explains Emil Zwick, branch manager at Gebhardt Fördertechnik.

There are generally two options in the industrial field to adjust a workplace ergonomically. One option is to let the work area remain at a static height where the employee stands on an adjustable scissor lift platform. 

Another option is to adjust the work area of the employees to the respective requirements by means of lifting columns. However, the latter solution, which is also used at Danfoss, is technically more complex to implement.

The component leaves the bath via a switch and it is passed on to the respective workplace. To make the workflow as convenient and as fast as possible, the employee does not have to worry about the correct setting of the height. When he logs in with his personal code at the respective workplace, the system calls up his individual setting and the lifting column moves to the appropriate height as soon as the component reaches its place.

LINAK lifting columns LP3 are applied for the height adjustment. This telescopic lifting column offers a force of 2,400 Newton and a stroke length between 300 and 600 millimetres.

The lifting column LP3 is a compact 3-part column with a robust anodised aluminium surface. It is particularly suitable for use in industrial workplaces and workbenches. A control unit that allows a parallel process of two columns controls the column. This is necessary as Danfoss uses two columns for a workplace in the production line.

Niels Kampstrup, responsible for the production process at Danfoss, gives his assessment of the solution from Gebhardt and LINAK: "When we set up the inverter production line in 2011, we placed great emphasis on ergonomically optimised workplaces."

The philosophy of Danfoss is simple: When an employee works in an optimal workplace, he can also achieve optimal performance. This in turn increases satisfaction, efficiency and productivity.

The ergonomic optimisation of the workplace is always accompanied by an optimisation of the work processes. The changing work at two lines is a good example of this. 

The Danfoss employee works between two lines, each of which receives a component. The change of the activity from left to right is ergonomically reasonable and is also ideal for the production process, because once the work on one component is finished and on the way back to the main line, the employee can work on the component on the other side.

The communication between the production line and the lifting column is fully automatic and the material flow of the production is directly linked to the control system for the workstations.

Emil Zwick of Gebhardt is sure that the ergonomic optimisation of workplaces will increase even further in the future, especially in industrial production. LINAK products help you find the right solutions. 

Learn more about how we view  production ergonomics at LINAK.

 

 

 

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