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.

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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
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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.

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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.