Fori China recently designed, built and integrated a cockpit assembly line in Shanghai.
The Fori China project aimed to improve the productivity and ease of assembly for a cockpit. The manipulators were attached to a steel structure that is used for assisting the operator while installing the cockpit assembly into the vehicle. After the cockpit is attached to the manipulator, it is conveyed to the install location, the goal is to reduce potential of damage to the workpiece. Once the workpiece is located within the vehicle, the manipulator holds the panel until tightening of the bolts is completed.
The manipulator has improved production efficiency, reduced product damage, and most importantly improve safety for the operators. For more information about Fori’s aerospace tooling, please visit our website.
Fori Automation recently supplied a number of powered drive wheel systems for an automotive Tier 1 supplier. The drive wheels were integrated into a customer supplied tooling cart providing automated movement of product through the automotive assembly process.
The Fori powered drive wheel systems include modular drive wheel units that are mounted to new or existing assembly carts. Once mounted the drive wheels automate the transfer of materials through the manufacturing facility. The drive wheel systems provide the same capability as an off the shelf Automated Guided Carts (AGCs). The powered drive wheel systems can be manually moved by the operator or can be supplied with an integrated vehicle management system (VMS) or traffic control to automatically control movement from station to station.
The key benefits of a powered drive wheel system include:
- Reduced reliance on fork lifts or manned Tuggers.
- Improve ergonomics, reduction in injuries in relation to pushing or pulling assembly or kit carts.
- Repeatable, reliable delivery of goods and consistent line pulse for assembly operations.
- Ability to integrate into manufacturing execution system (MES) for data analysis and production streamlining.
- Safe transfer of goods through the use of onboard Safety PLC and associated safety devices.
- Accurate positioning of carts and goods, standard station positioning is +/- 10 mm when utilizing a Fori provided vehicle management system (VMS).
Drive wheel systems include their own self-contained power supply, control panel, collision avoidance devices, guidance hardware and tethered (or wireless) pendant for manual control. Power supplies include sealed lead acid batteries and lithium ion product offerings. The controls architecture is safety PLC based and available in Siemens or Rockwell. Guidance or navigation options available include optical, magnetic or natural feature utilizing the onboard safety scanners.
Total carrying capacity of the powered drive wheel systems is accommodated by a variety of standard drive wheel sizes. Capacities can be increased by up-sizing the drive wheel and motor combination or adding more of the smaller drive wheel units. Drive wheel systems can also be configured to allow for different levels of maneuverability. The maneuverability ranges from uni-directional, loop based systems, up to omni-directional systems for complex material handling or assembly systems with the integration of two or more drive wheels.
The drive wheel systems are structured for current or future automation with the ability to retrofit the assembly cart later in the production cycle. The assembly cart can be designed to accommodate mounting of the drive wheels and required equipment at a later date. For existing carts, our design team will work with the production team to define the required changes for addition of the powered drive wheel system. The ability to add automation as production increases, decreases the initial capital expenditures, allowing production rates to increase before adding the automation required for automated or manual transport through the assembly process.
Overall the powered drive wheel system provides a flexible, safe and reliable material handling and assembly solution for the a wide range of industries and processes.
To learn more about Fori’s available products please visit our website or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fori Germany recently supplied a custom designed AGV for an automotive manufacturer at their body shop in Munich.
Fori Germany supplied 16 AGVs for a body shop project that were custom designed around the customer’s process. The total capacity required for each AGV was 1,100 pounds (500 kilograms). The AGV was responsible for carrying a car chassis between various assembly stations.
Each vehicle consisted of two fixed drive wheels, an integrated scissor lift, and a 24 volt lithium ion battery to power the vehicle. The system was based on an open controls architecture, utilizing a Siemens PLC for the vehicle control. In addition, each vehicle is equipped with a camera based guidance system that follows colored tape or paint. The optical guidance system provides a flexible, reliable and cost effective solution for guiding the vehicles throughout the assembly plant.
The vehicle included a custom scissor lift to accommodate the vertical lift stroke and capacity required for the process. Each vehicle is capable of lifting 1,100 pounds (500 kilograms), and the scissor lift is capable of 21 inches of total stroke with a collapsed height of 11 inches. The custom 24 volt 67 ampere hour lithium ion battery was designed to fit within the available footprint on the vehicle. The system allowed for quick charging at the designated opportunity charge stations. Utilization of a lithium ion battery reduced the required charging infrastructure.
For more information about Fori Automation’s AGVs, please visit our website.
Fori China designed, built and integrated a chassis marriage system for a automotive manufacturer located in Slovenia.
The marriage line is a sub-set of the trim and chassis final assembly system that delivers the completed front and rear modules to the marriage line after being assembled. The overall project is based on the green field sit to provide the delivery conveyance of the completed sub-assembly from the tunnels to the marriage line automatically where the complete chassis assembly will be automatically married and secured to the car chassis.
The body carrier and frame are powered into the stations via asynchronous conveyors. The spindles index and begin securing the front module, differential cradle, and rear module. All 14 fasteners must be torqued at the same time. There will be three wheel base variations that have a common front module and center cradle positions.
An inspection station was supplied with the system. The station will provide positive verification that the details match the corresponding configuration of the vehicle sequencing through the assembly process. The vision inspection is completed at a stop station.
The marriage station includes an electro-mechanical hook style body clamping device for models that require holding the body during the marriage process. An external actuator in the station is used to clamp the body to the pallet. Once married the overhead carrier drive is disengaged allowing the pallet conveyor to the move pallet/carrier assembly down the line. Future non-related products may be introduced by either pallet redesign or through additional pallets and a future pallet storage system.
For more information about Fori Automation’s body and chassis marriage systems, please visit our website.
The Fori module assembly system sequences and processes multiple product variants utilizing Fori’s Rail Guided Cart (RGC) assembly solution.
Fori’s integration of manufacturing execution systems with the RGC system allows the value added assembler the means to create multiple variants of brake systems. The sequenced brake systems are then assembled as requested by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and ready for installation into the vehicle.
The single loop style conveyor system consists of 13 RGCs to transport front brake corner and strut components (front vertical assembly) from incoming material dunnage through the various assembly processes including:
Utilizing experienced resources, Fori developed a viable process, engineered the system, manufactured the equipment and integrated the assembly line at the end user. The module assembly system has resulted in positive results for the customer and OEM.
Fori Mexico was involved in the relocation of an existing hot stamping line during production from Detroit, MI to Ramos, Mexico.
Timing for this project was critical, because it was going to take place during production. The customer was required to build a bank of stampings for production while the equipment was being relocated.
The existing hot stamping line in Detroit was a singular process. The customer requested that a new process in Mexico be a parallel process to improve the output of the system. Fori was responsible for engineering the new process. Fori developed the new system layout and completed all the robotic simulations with offline programming to verify the performance of the new parallel process system. The customer requested that Fori use as much existing capital as possible to help control costs, therefore anything that was not available for reuse had to be built by Fori, including the controls of the new system.
Once the engineering was completed and signed off, Fori Mexico managed the installation, integration, and run off of the new parallel process. Fori USA was responsible for project management, engineering, and quotation.
For more information about Fori Automation’s products, please visit our website.
Fori Korea recently supplied 14 chassis marriage Rail Guided Vehicles (RGVs) for an automotive manufacturer.
Fori Korea was contracted to replace an existing Chassis Marriage system. The system consisted of 14 Chassis Marriage carts, two chain lifts, and associated tooling plates to accommodate the three different vehicles assembled within the process. The system was built to meet a production capacity of 60 jobs per hour.
The Chassis Marriage cart was unique due to the ability to move the wheel base for the front and rear pallet separately in order to accommodate the vehicle variations. Doing so allowed the Chassis Marriage system to meet the various engine decking points within the limited hanger pitch.
The chassis marriage RGV system consisted of a single traffic control panel for the 14 vehicles. The main control panel ensured proper vehicle pitch and synchronization through the chassis marriage process.
In order to ensure a smooth installation and buyoff at the customer facility, the entire chassis marriage was setup, debugged and bought off on Fori Korea’s floor.
For more information about Fori Automation’s chassis marriage capabilities, please visit our website.
Fori India recently designed, built and integrated a Rail Guided Vehicle (RGV) style engine decking system to an automotive manufacturer near Pune, Maharashtra.
The system was supplied for accommodating the customer’s new vehicle model. The system was integrated into an existing assembly shop and was designed for 25 jobs per hour. The decking system supplied runs cross-car to the underbody conveyor line. The decking for the engine assembly is completed in a static position.
The RGV movement was completed with a friction drive wheel. A hydraulic scissor lift was provided for vertical movement of the pallet and engine. The control architecture for the system was Allen Bradley PLC based.
The decking system also included the engine dress up conveyor and pallets, as well as a buffer conveyor with overhead hoist and rail system for loading the product on the pallet.
For more information about Fori Automation’s automotive capabilities, please visit our website.
Fori Germany recently supplied a custom designed AGV for an automotive manufacturer for their front end assembly project in Munich.
Fori Germany supplied 31 AGVs for a front end assembly line. The AGVS are used to transport the workpiece carriers that are mounted on the carrier plate of the AGV.
The total capacity required for each AGV was 1,100 pounds in order to support the pallet and associated product. The carrier plate used for locating the product was mounted onto a trunnion to provide better ergonomics and accessibility for the operator completing the assembly.
Each vehicle consisted of two fixed drive wheels, an integrated trunnion, and a 24 volt lithium ion battery to power the vehicle. The system was based on an open controls architecture, utilizing a Siemens PLC for the vehicle control.
Each vehicle utilizes a camera based guidance system that follows colored tape or paint. The optical guidance system provides a flexible, reliable and cost effective solution for guiding the vehicles throughout the assembly plant.
The system was supplied with a Siemens based Vehicle Management System (VMS) to schedule and coordinate vehicle moves, communicate with the plant and for monitoring of the vehicles.
For more information about Fori Automations’ AGVs, please visit our website.
Fori China recently designed, built and integrated an end of line system for an automotive manufacturer.
The end of line system was included: non-contact wheel alignment, automatic headlamp aiming, and roll and brake testing.
The Wheel Alignment machine is designed for automatic measuring and manual adjustment of the vehicle parameters. The system was designed to measure Toe & Camber with a wide range of wheel bases, tread width, and tire sizes.
An integrated headlamp aimer measures the vehicle headlight intensity and position automatically and guides the operator to adjust the lamp position semi-automated. The “Fori Vision” aiming unit utilizes a camera based system to measure the intensity and position of the headlight.
Roll and brake testing is also completed on the end of line system, which includes testing for acceleration, cruise control, transmission, rear gear, dynamic braking and engine.
For more information about Fori Automation’s end of line systems, please visit our website.