What is a hybrid manufacturing cell?
A hybrid manufacturing cell is a single cell that is scalable and contains extensible multi-process manufacturing platforms. These cells provide integrated solutions needed to go from CAD to final finished part, assembly, or product; all in a single process without human interaction.
Similar to how hybrid vehicles use a combination of gas and electricity to generate the full amount of energy to drive, a hybrid manufacturing cell combines many different processes to create the final product all in one cell. These different processes are all based on robotics and contain multiple end-effectors offering different functionalities. The end-effectors mount onto a single motion platform to perform their tasks, such as EOA tooling for additive manufacturing, machining, gluing, welding, fiber placement, etc. The multiple processes that happen all in the same location decrease waste in the form of time and material savings.
Since these hybrid manufacturing cells have the core ingredient of robotics, it is relatively simple to implement an identical cell to double the production, and so on, as demand increases. When implementing more production capabilities, the workflow can be optimized, lowering the production cost and achieving economies of scale through Network Driven Scaling.
The modularity of each tool can enable ultimate freedom for manufacturing sequencing. Providing an agile system capable of coping with rapid changes in market demand by simply changing out the plug & play end-effectors gives manufacturers the ability to change just as quickly as the market does.
As the available variety of motion platforms is growing, the size of the manufactured parts becomes only an indicator on which motion platform you need to support production. Can the angles be reached with a stationary robotic arm, or does it need tracks to access each end? Does there need to be multiple robots on the track to meet production rates? Only you have those answers based upon your business model and vision.