Tuggers – Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) for Product Delivery

Fori has further improved on its standard Tugger AGV design by doubling the overall towing capacity.

Features:

  • Guidance Technology: Inertial with pencil magnets, bi-directional, capable of 0 degree turn
  • Capacity: 35,000 lbs./15,909 kg.
  • Safety: Scanners and bumpers
  • Controls: Siemens Open Architecture
  • Keys to Success: Highly accurate and repeatable
  • Results: Increased production rate, reduced personnel injuries, decreased infrastructure

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Fori was enlisted to supply a derivative of the standard Tugger AGV product line that is capable of nearly double the capacity of the original design. The driver of this increase was the goal of being able to transport three carts carrying axle assemblies for a large automotive OEM.

Due to the capacity, more product was transferred during each move which further increased the return on investment while decreasing the total number of required vehicles. The Tugger AGVs were commissioned to replace non-value added material handling tasks within the assembly process. The most important process consideration was safety and reliable delivery of product.

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Integration of a Fori Vehicle Management System (VMS) introduced further improvements to safety and reliability. Vehicle scheduling of moves, tracking and traffic control is coordinated through the Fori VMS. The Fori Tugger is a proven and robust product that can be applied to a variety of material handling applications.

For more information about Fori’s Tuggers and other material handling systems, please visit our website.

 

Searching for a Controls Project Engineering Manager!

We are searching for a Controls Project Engineering Manager for our Global Welding Projects at our Global Headquarters.

Job Postings Template - Welding - 2

Position: Controls Project Engineering Manager – Global Welding Projects (Job Code: 1002)

Location: 13231 23 Mile Road, Shelby Township, Michigan, 48315

Duties: 

  • Responsible for managing both engineering groups (software/hardware) with regards to schedules and manpower requirements in accordance with Project Master Scheduler.
  • Stay up to up to date on the latest technologies in use by our customers and competitors.
  • Understand and adhere to company QS-9000 policies and procedures.
  • Provide technical assistance to the proposal and estimating department.
  • Manage project budgets, driving the hardware/software architecture standardization for managed projects.
  • Provide proper department staffing based on project requirements.
  • Initiating and implementing continuous improvement activities.
  • Representing Fori in-plant and customer plant line-up meetings.
  • Communicating scope of work and monitor completion of project to specifications.
  • Ensuring project is on budget and meeting agreed upon delivery schedule.
  • Managing oversight of engineering release timing based on knowledge of purchasing department material lead times.
  • Utilize industrial robot systems, automated systems, industrial networks, motion control, robotics, robotic simulation software, PLC and HMI programming software, continuous improvement, machine safety and electrical design (CAD) packages to perform duties.
  • Conduct weekly project meetings both internal and with the customers; providing regular management updates for cost, schedule and issues management, and providing technical assistance to Controls Department.

Minimum Qualifications: 

  • Education: Bachelors – Mechanical Engineering, Control and Automation Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Electric Engineering, or in a related field of study (will accept equivalent foreign degree).
  • Training: None
  • Experience: Two (2) years in the position above, as a Controls Engineering Manager, as a Controls Engineer, as a Technical Director, or in a related occupation.
  • Will accept four (4) years of work experience in the position above, as a Controls Engineering Manager, as a Controls Engineer, as a Technical Director, or in a related occupation, in lieu of a primary education and work experience requirement.
  • Other Requirements: Experience must include two (2) years use of all the following: Industrial robot systems, automated systems, industrial networks, motion control, robotics, robotic simulation software, PLC and HMI programming software, continuous improvement, machine safety standards and electrical design CAD packages.
  • Will also accept any suitable combination of education, training and/or experience.

Salary:  $83,200 per year

To Apply: 

  • Please email resume to recruiting@foriauto.com
  • Mail resume:
    • Fori Automation, Inc.
    • 13231 23 Mile Rd, Shelby Township, MI, 48315
    • Attn: Recruiting
    • Subject: Controls Project Eng. Mgr. – Global Welding Projects
This notice is provided as the employer listed above is filing an application for Permanent Employment Certification for this job opportunity. Any person may provide documentary evidence bearing on this Application to the Certifying Officer of the U.S. Department of Labor at the following address: USDOL/ETA, Foreign Labor Certification, National Processing Center, 233 Peachtree Street, Suite 410, Atlanta, Georgia, 30303.

Automotive Assembly Systems: Assembly Line for Axle Modules

Fori recently supplied a module assembly line for axle assembly. The production line consisted of a Fori twin strand conveyance system with manual assembly stations, automatic Lateral Run Out (LRO) and automatic end of line robotic vision system for inspection.

IMG_0586

Features:

  • Assembly Jobs Per Hour: 81 jobs
  • Keys to Success: Inverted assembly process, integrated robots for vision inspection, lateral run out with WSS testing
  • Results: High build efficiency, reduction in rejected parts

The required equipment was met with a few unique challenges and aspects:

  • Inverted assembly and unloading of the vehicle side up
  • Unique LRO testing and retry methodology
  • Inverted robotic vision verification
  • Minimal area available for assembly line
IMG_0580
Robotic vision verification

Prior to testing the LRO, the hub and rotor must be assembled on a test fixture complete with constant velocity. The joint and hub fasteners are then tightened according to production standard and are able to withstand an axial load of 100 kN. In order to accomplish these items the equipment had to lift the axle from the pallet prior to being secured.

Due to the rotors being unable to be retained flat against the hub, the equipment could not guarantee “non-contamination” that could potentially produce a fault during LRO. In order to correct this the “retry method” of the equipment was to remove the rotor, index to the next rotary present pattern and reinstall the rotor to the hub prior to LRO testing.

For more information regarding Fori Automation’s assembly or end of line systems, please visit our website.

 

Automated Guided Vehicle for Automotive Chassis Decking Line

Fori recently provided a precision battery powered automotive Chassis Marriage AGV for an electric car manufacturer.

Features:

  • Guidance Technology: Magnetic tape or bar
  • Capacity: 4,000 lbs./1,818 kg.
  • Safety: Scanners, bumpers, system interlocks
  • Controls: Allen Bradley Open Architecture
  • Keys to Success: Custom designed chassis, accurate and repeatable
  • Results: Increased flexibility, decreased infrastructure

Fori has traditionally supplied Rail Guided Vehicles (RGVs) for automotive Chassis Marriage, but over the past five years Fori has leveraged its AGV experience to transfer existing automated vehicle technologies to its Chassis Marriage systems. The automated vehicle technology provides a Chassis Marriage system that decreases the required plant infrastructure. Whereas the traditional RGV based system requires an in floor track and power transfer system. The AGV system removes this requirement by utilizing an on board, battery based power supply and magnetic tape or bar guidance for vehicle tracking and positioning. Overall these improvements decrease facility work and associated cost, and allow for decreased installation times and provide long term flexibility for changing production needs.

The battery powered Chassis Marriage AGV includes dual independent Fori patented chain lifts capable of lifting and transporting 4,000 pounds in order to install the front and rear suspension and drive train modules to the vehicle Chassis. The battery based Chassis Marriage AGV was developed to support the end users lean automated manufacturing methodology, decreasing the total in plant infrastructure required for the system. Not only will the AGV enable the end user to reduce their plant hardware investment, there will be significant long term flexibility in the assembly process. The guidance system of the AGV and reduced plant infrastructure allow the AGV to easily interact with other systems and processes.

The AGV is outfitted with multiple safety measures that ensure collision avoidance. Safety scanners are included on the front and rear of the vehicle that will slow down and stop the vehicle as objects enter the scanning field. The Chassis Marriage AGV also includes indicator lights in each corner, (4) e-stops, safety pressure bumpers on the perimeter of the AGV and an on board HMI for vehicle status and diagnostics.

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Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) for Chassis Marriage utilizing Magnetic Tape Guidance

 

The Chassis Marriage AGV is responsible for accurate and repeatable location of product in station for a reliable chassis marriage process. The AGV will provide increased flexibility, safety and decreased product damage, thus increasing profitability within the project for the end user.

For more information on Fori’s Chassis Marriage AGVs, please visit our website.

 

Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) – Tunnel AGVs for Pallet Transfer

Fori recently designed and built a Tunnel AGV to support its global customers. The Tunnel AGVs are utilized for transporting product and dunnage throughout the production process.

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The Tunnel AGV pictures includes a Roller Conveyor companion cart for Pallet Transfer.

Features:

  • Guidance Technology: Magnetic bar, inertial with pencil magnets
  • Capacity: Up to 10,000 lbs./4,545 kg. (can be increased upon request)
  • Safety: Safety scanners and bumpers, Siemens safety PLC, system interlocks
  • Controls: Siemens open architecture, vehicle management system
  • Keys to Success: Custom designed chassis, highly accurate and repeatable
  • Results: Improved flexibility

The Fori Tunnel AGVs are capable of automated docking and transport of companion carts carrying up to 10,000 pounds. The design intent was to build a vehicle that was modular and interchangeable. In order to increase process flexibility the Tunnel AGVs are capable of docking to various companion carts, each serving a unique purpose.

Applications include pallet transfer via roller conveyors, lift tables and powered trunnions. Automated docking to the companion carts is completed with two docking or hitch pins. The docking pins ensure proper alignment to the companion cart for repeatable pick and drop.

The Tunnel AGV was designed to provide a high capacity material handling solution in the smallest footprint possible. The vehicle is comprised of two fixed drive wheels allowing for bi-directional travel and zero turn capability.

Fori - Tunnel AGV 3

 

A Fori Vehicle Management System (VMS) is utilized for scheduling of vehicles and traffic management of the system. The vehicle controls are based on an open architecture utilizing a Siemens safety PLC, eliminating the black box technology that is commonly used across the industry. The Tunnel AGV has proven to be a cost effective and reliable material handling system for a variety of applications.

For more information on Fori’s automated material handling products, please visit our website.

Non-Automotive Assembly: Manual Vertical Conveyor System for Motor Cycle Assembly

Fori recently supplied an assembly system for an american motorcycle manufacturer. The system comprised of manual push pallets on a vertical conveyor system consisting of a main build line and two vertical lift support stands.

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Features:

  • Assembly Units Per Day: 500 units / 2 shifts
  • Keys to Success: Operator ergonomics, flexible tooling, loop configuration, modular sections for line expansion
  • Results: Quality built assemblies, on time turnkey install

Not all projects require high levels of automated equipment in order to meet the end users production requirements. This project is a great example of how Fori took a powered vertical conveyor system and redesigned it to a manual push pallet system based on cycle times and customer budget requirements. The updated design provided the customer increased flexibility for their long term build process. The line was designed in modular sections for future expansion of increased production as required based on customer demand.

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The ability to be flexible with the pallet provided the ability to use the vertical conveyor for more than current parts or model changes. Overhead support for tooling was a jib boom that bolted to the floor to remove the assembly to dunnage.

For more information about Fori’s assembly solutions, please visit our website.

 

Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) for Horizontal Wing Assembly

Fori recently provided six high capacity Aerospace Tugger AGVs for the automated transport of tooling, supporting the horizontal build line for wing assembly. 

Features:

  • Guidance Technology: Magnetic bar, inertial with pencil magnets, natural feature and laser contour
  • Capacity: 120,000 lbs./54,545 kg.
  • Safety: Safety scanners and bumpers, Siemens safety PLC, system interlocks
  • Controls: Siemens open architecture, vehicle management system (VMS)
  • Keys to Success: Vehicle synchronization, custom designed chassis, highly accurate and repeatable.
  • Results: Improved flexibility, decreased crane usage

The six high capacity Tugger AGVs (capable of automated docking and transport of tooling up to 120,000 pounds) have been designed to accommodate projected production. The AGVs will be the primary method of transporting the tooling and product through the assembly process.

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The AGVs were developed to support a lean automated manufacturing methodology. The design intent was to build a vehicle that was modular and interchangeable. The AGV system is required to transport nine different tools, all with different weights and footprints. Due to tools exceeding lengths of 100 feet, the AGVs are required to dock at each end of the tool and move in tandem.

The automated docking utilizes a natural feature and camera based guidance system, which accommodates unexpected movement of the tooling. The system measures the surface of the tooling to generate angular offsets and utilizes a SICK camera and reflector based system for final location. Once positioned, servo driven couplers automatically pin spring loaded receivers mounted to the tooling. The tooling is also outfitted with safety scanners powered and controlled by the AGV.

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Responsibilities of the AGVs include: automated docking, tooling identification and transport throughout the facility. A Fori Vehicle Management System (VMS) has been provided to monitor system I/O, communication between the AGVs, tooling, and automated assembly stations. Scheduling of moves also occurs between the vehicle Siemens Mobile Panel and the Fori VMS.

For more information about Fori Automation’s aerospace products, please visit our website.

 

Automated MIG Welding Assembly System for Automotive Components

The Robotic MIG Welding system contains resistance spot welding, projection welding, drawn arc welding and a sealer application.

Features:

  • Assembly Cycle Time: 54 seconds
  • Keys to Success: Integrated robots, custom designed turn tables, custom precision welding
  • Results: Decreased cycle time and increased quality

The robotic weld system provided accommodates for multiple structural end item assemblies that consisted of resistance spot welding, projection welding, drawn arc welding, as well as a sealer application. The system contained multiple welding cells with a total of (50) robots.

The end item assemblies within this program were Load Beams, Rear Quarter Inner, Rear Closure Inner Assembly, Dash Assembly, Cowl Side, Center Floor Pan Assembly and Sill Outer.

Dial indexers where integrated into a number of the weld cells to improve the efficiency of the robots. Within the process some robots carried weld guns while others were material handling robots that moved the assemblies through pedestal welders (spot, projection and drawn arc) or pedestal sealers.

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Fori USA was responsible for Project Management, Engineering, Assembly and Integration. All cells were setup and run off at Fori’s global headquarters in Shelby Township, MI. Fori Mexico was responsible for installation and buy off at the end user’s production facility.

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For more information on Fori Automation’s weld lines, please visit our website.

 

Fori Automation on Crain’s Fast 50 List for 2019!

Crain’s Detroit Business has listed Fori as number 25 on their Fast 50 list for 2019. This list is compiled to highlight the fastest growing companies in Southeast Michigan.

25. Fori Automation Inc.

Revenue 2015: $164,000,000 | Revenue 2018: $240,000,000
Three-year percentage change: 46
What it does: Design and build of automated material handling, assembly, testing and welding systems for the automotive, aerospace, agriculture, recreational vehicle and alternative energy industries.
How it grew: Diversification strategies that include investing in new product development for assembly, testing, welding and material handling systems. The company began focusing on automotive opportunities outside of its traditional assembly equipment in 2008, including welding systems, material handling systems and automation systems for both global automotive car manufacturers and tier one suppliers. Fori has also expanded into aerospace, military, recreation vehicle, construction and agriculture, heavy metals and alternative energy industries. The company also expanded globally, with design and build facilities in China, Korea, India, Germany, Brazil, Mexico and Spain.

To check out the rest of the list, visit Crain’s website. To find out more about how Fori has expanded to meet your automation needs, please visit our website.

Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) for Aluminum Ingot & Coil Handling

Fori recently supplied three high capacity AGVs for the automated transport of aluminum ingots for aluminum coil production. 

IMG_5960

Features:

  • Guidance Technology: Magnetic bar, inertial with pencil magnets
  • Capacity: 250,000 lbs./113,636 kg.
  • Safety: Safety scanners and bumpers, Siemens safety PLC, system interlocks
  • Controls: Siemens open architecture, vehicle management system
  • Keys to Success: Custom designed chassis, highly accurate and repeatable
  • Results: Improved flexibility, decreased crane usage

The (3) high capacity automated guided vehicles (AGVs) were supplied to replace a legacy system that was over 20 years old. The Fori AGVs will be the primary method of transporting the aluminum ingots through the finishing process. Traditional handling systems rely heavily on overhead crane utilization, but the AGV based solution reduces reliance on cranes.

The AGVs were designed to fit within the existing plant and process. One of the biggest challenges on the project was packaging eight drive wheels and (2) 100 ton capacity lifts within the existing vehicle footprint. Each drive wheel was outfitted with a suspension system to ensure proper radial loading and equal load distribution between the (8) drive wheels. Another improvement on the Fori system was ball screw based lift jacks that included integrated load cells for measuring fore/aft and side to side loading of the ingot. If the ingot is loaded outside of an acceptable range, the AGV stops immediately and sets down the ingot.

IMG_4035

The Fori AGV utilizes a 72VDC sealed lead acid battery as a power supply.  The vehicles utilize PMAC motors that provide improved control and efficiency over the previous system which utilized DC brushed motors. Each vehicle had a safety bumper front and rear, as well as six safety scanners around the perimeter of the vehicle to provide added safety coverage.

A Fori Vehicle Management System has been provided to monitor system I/O, manage communication between the AGVs and scheduling of moves for production.

For more information about Fori Automation’s high capacity AGV capabilities, please visit our website.