Atlas Copco has developed the Tool Location System, TLS - an innovative way of ensuring that assembly line tightenings are being performed in the right station and on the right product. The company compares TLS to a small-scale GPS, but instead of satellites, sensors monitor the plant. Products and tools are located and tracked with tags that use UWB radio frequencies. Additional features and benefits include:
- On static assembly lines, using TLS, virtual workstations are created and tools linked to them, guaranteeing that only the correct tools work in the assigned workstation. Pick up the wrong tool and it simply won’t operate.
- On moving assembly lines, virtual product areas are created that move with the product. Tools can also be linked to them and, again, only the correct tools will work in the correct product area.
- Tightening programs can be selected automatically and manual product identification is eliminated - minimizing the risk of human error, thus reducing re-working and scrapping.