One of the unique design features was the vehicle measurement system, which resides on the wheel aligner. Sixteen weight measurement transducers are integrated into the four floating plates to equally measure the distributed load of the vehicle during the alignment process. Doing so eliminates the need for a separate weight measurement station.
The facility, capable of producing over 300,000 vehicles per year opened in 2016. The facility produces small cars for Mexico and South American countries.
For more information on Fori End of Line Systems, please visit our website.
The Chassis Marriage process is completed utilizing integrated lifts and custom tooling pallets to support various chassis depending on the model of vehicle being manufactured. The Chassis Marriage process is completed once the operator does a final torque of fasteners, bringing the car body and chassis together.
The utilization of Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) for Chassis Marriage has increased flexibility for the end user by removing the monuments that are required on RGV based Chassis Marriage systems. The Chassis Marriage AGVs utilize a number of different power sources and guidance methods. Power sources include both lead acid and lithium ion batteries, induction and some cases a combination of both battery and induction power. Guidance can be completed in a number of ways, the guidance systems utilized most frequently are magnetic guidance, induction or optical.
Each Chassis Marriage AGV includes (2) integrated Fori electric lifts that are used for raising the drive train of the vehicle to the body. Each lift is capable of lifting up 2,500 kg. and upon request can reach lift strokes of up to 52″ depending on the project requirements.
Utilization of AGVs within Chassis Marriage has resulted in increased system flexibility, decreased plant infrastructure for the end user and has provided a scalable solution allowing for addition of vehicles based on expected production rates.
For more information on Fori Chassis Marriage AGVs, please visit our website.
Fori recently integrated a flexible assembly system for a scooter assembly line. The line currently utilizes a scalable manufacturing methodology, enabling the end user to increase automation as production requirements increase.
The assembly system is made up of a single assembly loop and two offline stations. The two offline stations consist of a battery assembly area, along with a tire & wheel assembly area.
A unique characteristic about this assembly loop is the manual carts are tied into a track that resides on the floor similar to the Fori Flex Rail system that utilizes Rail Guided Carts (RGCs).
The unique equipment provided includes:
Flexible production tooling pallets
Heavy duty torque tube for front fork attachment
Robotic sealant dispensing cell
Implementation of these types of scalable assembly systems allow the end user to minimize upfront expenditure and utilize a cash flow structure which supports increased automation as throughput requirements increase.
For more information on Fori’s available equipment, please visit our website.
Fori recently provided two custom designed, high capacity Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) for a large Aerospace OEM. The AGVs were utilized for component material handling and assembly.
Over the past decade, there has been a strong push in the Aerospace industry to increase Automation. Main drivers for this initiative include decreased crane utilization, process control, improved safety and reduction in product damage and waste.
The AGVs supplied required a customized frame design in order to mimic the footprint of the transported tooling. The project team had specific requirements on the length, width and height of the vehicle, as well as deflection requirements for the AGV frame while transporting the part and tooling. These requirements required a substantial engineering effort through the utilization of Finite Element Analysis (FEA) to ensure the final design would meet all the design requirements.
Fori AGVs are Siemens safety PLC based, providing an open controls architecture, eliminating the “black box” provided by many material handling suppliers. The AGV system is outfitted with the latest and greatest safety devices available. The AGVs provided include perimeter safety bumpers and 360º SICK safety scanner coverage to ensure collision avoidance.
Responsibilities of the AGVs include:
Lift & Transport up to 90,000 lbs.
Minimize tooling & part deflection
Accurate and repeatable tool placement
Fully automated order scheduling & completion
Utilization of AGVs has resulted in decreased reliance on overhead cranes, providing a reduction in product damage and an increase in system efficiency and most importantly safety.
For more information on Fori AGVs, please visit our website.
Fori recently supplied five wheel alignment systems with integrated single mast headlamp aim and semi-automatic front toe set.
Fori has been a leader in End of Line Testing equipment for more than 30 years. Supplying End of Line systems across the globe. End of Line Testing systems include, but are not limited to the following:
The Fori wheel aligners and headlamp aimers consisted of the following major assemblies: semi-automated front toe set with Fori patented dual socket gear heads to accommodate two different size tie rods. A semi-automated rear toe and camber secure tooling, caster sweep audit capability and ride height measurement capability were also included in the system.
The Fori system provided the ability for headlamp aiming with a headlamp aimer box and integrated light source. Auto-tilt positioning was provided for measuring and manually aligning the vehicle adaptive cruise control module.
Wheel aligners with the level of automation outlined above are not the “typical” systems supplied in the past. A strong engineering group and past experience ensured that the project would be a success.
For more information on Fori End of Line Testing systems, please visit our website.
Fori recently supplied two automated alignment cells that were required to adjust toe, camber and caster simultaneously, while ensuring the balanced marker for the drive train for 4WD models is properly positioned for ease of vehicle assembly at OEM.
The required changes for the 2016 model year were accompanied by many challenges:
Jobs per hour (JPH) increases
Minimal downtime for system installation
Change in model geometry
Rework of three current alignment machines
Fori was able to provide a solution that added two additional alignment cells each with a re-sequencing stand & integrated robot. In order to keep the flexibility of maintaining these machines, keeping sequence of the modules being built and quality, additional logic and hardware had to be developed.
Modules are picked on a first come, first serve basis. After alignment the robot places the completed module in its sequence stand. From there another robot on a track extending parallel to the conveyor line will pick and place the module to the pallet it was picked from.
The Fori supplied module alignment system improved throughput for the system. The pre alignment of modules reduces alignment at final assembly and ensures proper assembly.
For more information on Fori’s available equipment, please visit our website.
Fori recently supplied an automated assembly and robotic weld cell that processes a complicated cradle assembly consisting of numerous parts and sub-assembly components.
Each line supplied utilizes 10+ MIG welding robots and additional robots for material handling. The system goal was to utilize a minimum number of operators. The current assembly system include a strict cycle time. Due to the complexity of the assembly, Fori was required to utilize excessive processing skills and use “outside of the box” thinking to develop a complete solution.
After completion of the robotic welding, the critical component characteristics are formed with precision hydraulic pierce units and is followed up with a dual station machining center. Once assembled, the assembly enters a CNC validation and deburring station, followed by a vision inspection system to verify and track part quality. A video on Fori Cradle Welding Systems can be found here.
Through the utilization of experienced resources, Fori was able to develop a viable process. The utilization of the MIG welding and material handling robots has decreased the total cycle time, increased throughput and ensured consistent product quality.
For more information on Fori welding systems please visit our website.
Manual drill & fill has been a topic of conversation within the Aerospace industry due to the health and safety concerns. Utilization of automated drill & fill systems with a mobile platform has helped alleviate these concerns.
Fori recently supplied a custom Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) for automated drill & fill. The automated drill & fill system is used for the side panel of a large commercial aircraft.
The AGV is required to auto-lift and level the platform upon arrival in each production station. The AGV must be positioned within +/- .005″ and level within +/- .16 degrees. This is accomplished through the utilization of inclinometer feedback and precision servo motion control.
Strict requirements were placed on the actual AGV frame design and the allowable deflection while traveling. The frame was designed to deflect less than .03″ during transport of the drill & fill system from station to station.
AGVs within the Aerospace industry will enable the automated tooling to move to the part versus traditional systems where the part has always moved to the tool or machine station. The results will include minimized part handling and a substantial reduction in crane utilization.
Long term, the automated drill & fill system will minimize safety and health concerns, while increasing throughput.
A Fori Flex Rail system, utilizing Rail Guided Carts (RGCs) was recently supplied for a rear suspension module build. The system consisted of a main build line, two module alignment machines and a final assembly build line.
The utilization of a Flex Rail System and Rail Guided Carts provides the utmost flexibility for those customers who need to be able to accommodate change easily. The ability to be flexible in the automotive world means less downtime, cost and reduced infrastructure during installation.
Rail Guided Cart based assembly systems are becoming the norm on Fori’s Automotive Assembly Systems. The systems can be modified easily, whether it be adding a station or even accommodating fluctuations in throughput requirements.
Each Rail Guided Cart is a stand along unit with an integrated Siemens Safety PLC and Wireless Client. Utilization of the PLC based system, results in an open architecture to the end user. Each of the carts are outfitted with safety bumpers and collision avoidance laser scanners to ensure the safety of the operators. A video of the Fori Rail Guided Cart can be found here.
Overhead support to the operators for tooling in most cases are simple jib booms and inverted “L” posts that are bolted to the floor to promote flexibility of the system. In instances where sequence and repeatability are critical, a robot is integrated for final torquing and the load and unload of assemblies.
Benefits of the Fori Flex Rail Systems utilizing Rail Guided Carts include:
Improved part and assembly access
Decreased plant infrastructure
Reusable for future programs
Scalable solution – add or remove carts for production fluctuations
The central pillar of the partnership is the continued integration of Siemens Factory Automation hardware and software within Fori’s Material Handling and Automation Equipment. Fori Automation will have one of their Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) for automated material handling on display.
Fori Material Handling equipment is utilized within the Aerospace, Automotive and Defense industries. Fori equipment has capacities as low as 500 lbs. to over 250,000 lbs.
The AeroDef takes place on March 7th and 8th at the Fort Worth Convention Center in Fort Worth, Texas.