Delivering Fully Automated Right-First-Time Manufacturing for a Leading Automotive Component Manufacturer04-Jan-2018 UNISON LTD
Our client is a leading manufacturer and supplier of large stamped metal and welded components, assemblies, and plastic parts for the automotive industry. They are responsible for manufacturing boot hinge assemblies for several major automotive manufacturers.
The main component in this assembly is a bent rectangular steel tube component which was previously fabricated and supplied by a subcontractor. Our client decided to invest in an automated manufacturing cell to produce these Boot Lid Hinge components completely in-house.
The proposed solution incorporated two all-electric, servomotor-controlled 50mm Breeze tube bending machines with multi-stack tooling heads. The bending machines are fed by two automatic hopper loaders which perform weld seam detection and datum the tube prior to bending.
A robot alternatively unloads the bent parts from each machine and presents the parts to a bespoke inspection system, to measure the parts and calculate corrections. This closes the loop with the bending machines motion control, to ensure accuracy and repeatability. The components are then transferred by a further two robots into two CNC machine centres, where 13 holes of various sizes are automatically drilled. Once complete, the components are robotically deburred and hung on a transfer rack in pairs ready for the assembly station.
In a high demand industry, working to ‘Just-in-time’ philosophies, our client now has the ability to produce the hinge component in-house allowing them complete control of all aspects of the boot lid assemblies.
The benefits gained include:
- Fully automated right-first-time manufacturing
- Improved control of quality with a repeatable process with tight control of Tolerances
- With minimal change over tooling the cell can be reprogrammed to produce different variants