Kinematics Manufacturing, Inc (KMI) recently unveiled the Kinematics Validation Laboratory (KVL) – the largest and most comprehensive slew/worm-gear durability and reliability test lab in the world. This 5,000sq ft. dedicated lab is where KMI offers comprehensive testing services to validate customer products for real-world durability and reliability.
Over the last century or so, Reliability Engineering and related fields have developed methods for accurately predicting real-world operational lifetimes. This is achieved through accelerated testing under simulated conditions and is vitally important for mission-critical products such as spacecraft, aircraft and automobiles. These types of products have to be ultra-dependable but must enter operation without years and years of testing. Similarly, KMI’s core markets – heavy equipment and solar tracking – require drives with proven and predictable long operational lifetimes.
Reliability and durability testing is critical in the solar industry where solar power plants and all their components are expected to operate with zero or limited maintenance over a 25-30 year lifetime. KMI has been doing reliability and durability testing for over a decade to demonstrate and validate predictable and long product lifetimes for its products.
Kinematics Validation Lab Services
- 5,000 sq. ft. dedicated test lab
- Fully equipped
- Customer or KMI test protocols
- Performance validations
- Lifetime validation/HALT
- Destructive testing
- Environmental testing
- FMEA/Risk Analysis
- Test reports
Kinematics has completed implementation of a lean manufacturing system to reduce costs, increase quality, and improve interactions between suppliers and customers. In lean manufacturing, the system constantly adjusts to inconsistencies in an attempt to achieve perfection.
The principal idea of lean manufacturing is development of a core flexible system that reduces organizational stress and eliminates all possible wastes. The types of wastes the process removes include:
Continuous improvement requires challenging everyone in the organization, particularly throughout the supply chain, to be creative and strive to improve the system every day. Decisions must be based on a long-term philosophy of improvement, sometimes at the expense of short-term financial gains. Management leadership plays a critical part in carrying out such lofty goals.
By working to establish the best process to achieve our desired results, Kinematics manufacturers can:
- Create continuous process flow to bring problems to the surface
- Use inventory pull to avoid over-production (work-in-progress waste)
- Level the workload throughout the process to avoid bottlenecks
- Shape a culture that stops and fixes problems, not cover them up
- Build a foundation based on standardized tasks
- Use visual controls wherever possible to make everyone aware of issues immediately
- Manufacture using only reliable, tested, and proven technology
A key feature for eliminating waste is a pull inventory system. This starts with a shipment to the customer. Then work parts are pulled back through the manufacturing process all the way to the raw material. By using this system, nothing starts until a customer order is released.
The implementation of lean manufacturing at Kinematics has made the organization more aggressive with continuous improvement, resulting in the best products and customer service on the market.