I know that this is a very broad subject but I'm mechanical engineering student and I would like to learn how to design a production line. If I have to choose I would like to learn how to design a paper making production line. I've scoured the internet for resources. And I've downloaded a lot of books. But I wish there were more drawings or diagrams of a production line or of the machine in the production line. Does anybody have any resources or knowledge that they can share? If you have knowledge about any sort of assembly or production line please share.
Shooting from the hip here as a product designer, maybe start with clearly identifying your deliverable. Is it cut paper? Roll paper? How much do you want the line to be able to make? Questions like that.
Once that's done, identify the machinery and operations necessary to produce that deliverable, from start to finish, and then you can start a rough layout because these machines and operations need to happen in a certain order.
Volume paper production equipment to me sounds like high precision stuff so the placement of the machinery will tend to design itself since things have to line up precisely from one machine to the next.
Hand crafted artisan paper would have much "looser" location requirements from step to step, and probably allow a bit more flexibility in machine and operation placement, but the general idea is the same for all assembly lines I suppose.
Define the deliverable, define the steps necessary to produce that deliverable, then do the line layout. It should tend to "lay itself out" more or less once the first two steps are done.
I find part design often happens in much the same way. Once the requirements and the constraints are defined, stuff just kind of designs itself! Weird!
Oftentimes yes, depending on the particular operation. I'm unfamiliar with what machines are pre developed for paper production lines but I imagine things like guillotine cutters, glue vats, curing ovens, vat stirrers, things like that are somewhat available, albeit very specialized items.
But yeah, production lines are pretty much "custom" systems made of as much off-the-shelf stuff you can get away with but will require some equipment be custom designed. Whether it gets designed in-house or farmed out to a company that specializes in designing machinery depends on budget, schedule, local expertise, etc, etc.
I am a student and Maybe I am biting more than I can chew. How much time do you expect this project to take. Also I'm thinking about starting with smaller project. Either way I wanted to express my gratitude another time thank you so mcuh sir.
But that's part of it, as component, machine, system, whatever, developers, we never really "know" ahead of time.
However we do our best to make sure it's "engineered" to be good by doing all our homework which includes gathering information, consulting experts (what you're trying to do now, unfortunately you got me, har har), basing our designs on similar themes that worked well in the past, prototyping and testing concepts seen as higher risk, brainstorming with the "team" of players involved (a company requiring one lone guy to develop an entire high speed paper production line sounds unrealistic to me, unless perhaps he was a guru of paper production line design)
Even with all this, you will eventually hear yourself or someone else say "Well, it looked good on paper," because its entirely possible to do all your homework to the best of your ability and still have built a piece of crap. It happens. A lot actually. It's part of the process. You will have gained valuable experience that will guide you on future designs.
My best advice if you really want to lay out a paper production line is to try to get a tour of one that works similarly to the one you're envisioning. Try to get a guide that's very familiar with all the equipment. Ask a ton of questions and make a ton of notes and sketches such that you could then give a pretty decent explanation of it to someone who is unfamiliar. It will be extremely useful to know how it's currently being done, and will give you the opportunity to notice areas that could possibly be improved upon to incorporate into your design.
It's a big project sir, no doubt.
Thank you thats good.But what do you mean identify the machinery. Say if the paper is to fold in here or to be cut there am I supposed to design the machine from scratch?
Oh thats a bit of bad news because how can I know that my machine is good or if it can be made much better. Also do you have then resources about machine design? Thank you for awnsering I appreciate it :)
How much detail do you need for your project? If it's general layout and process flow, the field trip I mentioned earlier, would probably get you 80-90% of the way there, you'd just have to polish your notes and sketches a bit.
If you're looking to finish with a complete bill of materials for every bearing, custom welded frame, plc, wire harness, etc...I honestly don't see that being a one man job. That's an entire cross functional team (MEs, EEs, Manufacturing guys, software guys, etc) of people who know their stuff pulling that off and it would take them at least a year, if they were REALLY good.
I work with a guy that used to work for a company that designed and manufactured letter sorting equipment built for the post office and it was all custom, high speed and enourmous! We're taling length-of-a-football-field sized systems of custom machines. Cray-zee! Letters flying by so fast it's just a white blur, he said it was epic when it would get a jam! I think he referred to it as "volcanoing", lol.
My best advice, keep it simple. If you want to do paper production, consider taking the angle I mentioned earlier and produce "artisan" paper (if the project allows such), then all you have to do is copy how the pioneers made paper and semi-automate parts of the process that inspire the inventor in you.
Add a pump where they would carry pulp in buckets, an auger somewhere to deliver raw material, you know, keep it super low volume and simple, but sprinkle in bits of modern equipment and be clever about how the line is arranged, try to make processes flow efficiently in time and space. The simple product line should have most of the same general elements that a modern high speed line would have, right?
Designing and semi-automating on this smaller scale might make the project more reasonable for a one man operation because then you get to choose "off the shelf" equipment rather than imagineering everything from scratch.
Best of luck to you, and your welcome! It's been an enjoyable conversation.