Every year, ADAM Audio from Berlin-Adlershof produces around 75,000 studio loudspeakers, of which more than 2,000 are monitors from the high-end series at the company's headquarters.
Musicians, sound engineers and producers from all over the world swear by the noble monitor boxes, which are assembled by hand according to the highest quality standards. The loudspeakers, which weigh up to 80 kg, are manufactured at ergonomically optimised workstations with ROEMHELD assembly tables. Fans of the Berlin-based audio manufacturer include Kiss's US hard rockers as well as German jazz legend Klaus Doldinger and numerous music professionals and sound artists as well as musically ambitious youtubers from all over the world. The exceptional quality of professional studio technology includes not only high-quality processing but above all the outstanding listening experience. The tweeters developed by ADAM, which are based on a hand-folded membrane, contribute to this in particular. They are manufactured exclusively by employees in Berlin - as well as around 2,000 high-end S Series loudspeakers and Subwoofers of the series Sub 10, 12 and 15.
“ADAM” is an artificial word from the first letters of “Advanced Dynamic Audio Monitors”. Founded in 1999, the company develops, produces and distributes loudspeakers and headphones for professional audio technology worldwide from its headquarters in Berlin. ADAM Audio has subsidiaries in the USA and China and is internationally successful: “In 2018 we had 15% sales growth to € 12 million and in 2019 we want to grow at the same rate”, explains Lars Ohmann, Head of Operations responsible for Production, Purchasing, Logistics and Quality Control.
With the success the production numbers grew, at the same time the assortment was extended by further, larger and heavier loudspeaker models.
This noticeably increased the physical strain on the manual assembly staff, as the largest studio monitors now weighed 80 kg. Also, the fitters had to interrupt their work while transferring the heavy monitors to the working tables and wait until a colleague came to their aid. This extended the production times.
For Alexandra Brau, production manager at ADAM Audio, it was clear that the manual assembly had to be reorganised: “We wanted to be flexible and create an innovative working environment that would also meet the high standards we apply to our products. So: no standard solution, no assembly line.”
The three most important requirements:
- “On the one hand, the monitors should be pulled when moving and not lifted, so that the fitters are relieved.
- Also, the height of the working tables should be adjustable. For safety reasons, it was important to us that the height only changed when the operator pressed the corresponding button.
- And thirdly, lifting and lowering must be carried out without any vibration and jerk-free to avoid loss of quality.
In autumn 2018, ADAM Audio decided after an intensive search and online research for assembly tables from the moduhub program of ROEMHELD, whose height can be adjusted by two electrical lifting columns each. The table tops, each 3,000 mm wide, 800 mm deep and 60 mm thick, carry up to 400 kg of load. According to Brau, this made them the only models available on the market that could be considered. The first two were delivered in December 2018, the third in March 2019.
ROEMHELD’s modular program offers various solutions for the ergonomic and efficient manual assembly of workpieces with medium to heavy weights. It comprises a wide range of manually or electrically operated rotating, tilting, lifting, cart modules and clamping modules that can be combined. ADAM Audio's tried and tested lifting modules are available in numerous versions: with strokes between 200 and 1,000 mm, manually or electrically operated and with lifting forces from 1 kN to 6 kN.
With these features, they are also suitable for professional audio studios to adjust the height of heavy equipment, such as mixing consoles to changing users.
At ADAM Audio, the focus of the reorganisation is on the assembly tables, which every employee can drive to the ergonomically comfortable height. Their operation is effortless and very safe: All you have to do is press the corresponding push-button on a control panel. As long as it is pressed, the two lifting columns move up or down synchronously, uniformly and quietly at a speed of between 12 and 16 mm/s, depending on the load.
When released, the lifting columns stop immediately. Different positions can be preset and recalled by pressing the memory key. The electrically controlled soft start and stop also contribute to the ease of operation. For the assembly of a monitor box or a subwoofer, the fitter drives the components to his working table on a transport cart.
The height of the working table is set slightly lower than that of the transport cart by a stored position so that all components can be pulled onto its working surface comfortably and without any help. According to his own size and the dimensions of the studio speakers, he now adjusts the table top to the desired working height.
After assembly, he moves his table - through another stored position - slightly higher than the transport trolley and pulls the fully assembled loudspeakers onto the now lower cart. The boxes are then sent to his colleague for quality control.
The fitters also praise the fact that it is now more comfortable and more pleasant to install in previously difficult to reach angles and corners. Also, the incidence of light and thus also the quality control of the studio monitors is more pleasant.
For Alexandra Brau, productivity progress is also essential: Instead of having to wait for the help of a colleague to reload the heavy monitors as before, the fitter can now complete the entire assembly independently and without delay.
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