First prize for the "Best Assembly Idea 2011" went to the "Pick-by-Shutter" ejector workstation. Although this particular workstation is not used in a plastics processing facility, details of it may spur processors to enhance or redesign the workstations in their own facility. It also is one potential answer to the multi-faceted question, "How can higher-cost labor countries keep their manufacturing industries intact?"
J. Schmalz GmbH, a manufacturer of vacuum clamping systems (such as ones that can be used to feed sheet into a thermoforming machine) and other handling technology, won the award, which was presented as part of the 23rd German Assembly Congress in Munich by the iwb (Institute for Machine Tools and Industrial Management) of the Technical University of Munich. The "Pick-by-Shutter" workstation shortens times for assembly, set-up and inspection, according to the company....