In assembly automation, companies design special products that often require a variety of custom components in small quantities. Misumi caters for this market with an online part catalogue powered by 3D PartStream.NET. The virtual shop enables buyers to configure bushings, linear shafts, locating pins and a myriad of other parts to their exact needs. The software generates a unique part number and a Solidworks part model on the fly.
In the past, if buyers wanted special parts, they had to order a minimum quantity of standard parts, create a CAD design of the new configuration, and then machine the part on site or outsource it to a machine shop. Misumi saves its customers time, hassle, and money by delivering custom components within eight days.
The unique coding system that allows buyers to specify the material, dimensions and finish of the parts was developed by Misumi UK's parent company Misumi Corporation in Japan.
To meet the demands of the global market, Misumi turned to 3D PartStream.NET. Many assembly automation companies are Solidworks users, so 3D PartStream.NET is a good fit. Misumi now features 4000 assembly automation parts in its online catalogue, and 75 per cent of the parts are configurable to meet custom requirements.
As part of the 3D PartStream.NET service, Misumi also gets exposure to the Solidworks user base through 3D ContentCentral, a website for manufacturers and Solidworks designers to share CAD models. But the beauty of 3D PartStream.NET is that it is intuitive. A designer can go to the Misumi website and choose the part he wants, and then configure all the critical dimensions just by clicking a series of buttons.
Most suppliers of linear shafts offer standard cut lengths. But what if you want to order a non-standard linear shaft with a certain diameter and female and male threads. Simply go to Misumi's online catalogue and select 'linear shafting' from the mechanical product list. A list of standard types appears. Select the one closest to what you want. When the product comes up, you are given a series of options, including diameter, length, tolerance, thread type, and finish. When you have configured your part, click on 3D model to get a downloadable Solidworks model with a unique part number in seconds.
The Misumi catalogue is a boon to assembly automation design firms, such as those specialising in robotics and factory automation cells.
Companies that used to manufacture their own linear shafts can get them from Misumi for £3.50 to £4.00, whereas making them from scratch would take five or six hours, and at a shop rate of £20 to £24 an hour, you can quickly save hundreds of pounds.