Fori + Fori AGV + Aerospace AGV + Aerospace Automated Guided Vehicle + Aerospace Automated Material Handling

Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) for Aerospace Component Assembly

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.

Aerospace AGV + Automated Guided Vehicle + Fori AGV + Fori Automated Material Handling
Fori Aerospace Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) for Aircraft Component Assembly

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.

 

End of Line Testing + Wheel Alignment + Headlamp Aiming + Toe Set + Fori

End of Line Testing Systems – Wheel Aligners, Headlamp Aimers and Semi-Auto Front Toe Set

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.

End of Line Testing + Fori + Wheel Alignment + Head Lamp Aiming + Automated Toe Set
Fori End of Line Testing Systems – Wheel Alignment, Headlamp Aim, Toe Set

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.

Module Aligner + Module Assembly System + Fori

Automotive Alignment Systems for Front Suspension Modules

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
  • Product complexity
  • 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.

Module Aligner + Fori + Module Aligment System
Suspension Module Aligner for Toe, Caster and Camber Adjustment

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.

 

Robot + Robotic Welding + Automated Welding System

Automated MIG Welding Assembly System for Front Suspension Cradles

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.

Robotic Welding + Robot + Automated Welding + Fori
Fully Automated Robotic Weld and Material Handling System

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.

Aerospace Drill & Fill + Aerospace AGV + Aerospace Automated Guided Vehicle + Fori + Fori AGV

Aerospace Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) for Automated Drill & Fill

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.

Aerospace AGV + Automated Guided Vehicle + Aerospace Material Handling
Fori Aerospace Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) for Automated Drill & Fill Tooling Transport

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.

For more information on Fori Aerospace AGVs, please visit our website or contact us at sales@foriauto.com.

Robotic Assembly + Automated Assembly + Module Assembly + Rail Guided Cart + RGC

Fori Flex Rail – Rail Guided Cart (RGC) Assembly System for Rear Suspension Modules

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.

Automation + Module Assembly + Module Aligner + Wheel Alignment
Fori Flex Rail System – Rail Guided Cart Assembly System with Integrated Robots

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:

  • Increased safety
  • Improved part and assembly access
  • Decreased plant infrastructure
  • Reusable for future programs
  • Scalable solution – add or remove carts for production fluctuations

For more information on Fori Rail Guided Carts please visit our website or contact us at sales@foriauto.com.

Fori Automation & Siemens Partner for the SME AeroDef Exhibition

Siemens Aerospace and Fori Automation have partnered for the SME AeroDef, the leading exposition and technical conference for the aerospace and defense manufacturing industry.

aerodef_logo

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-aerospace-agv-mobile-platform
Fori Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) with Siemens Controls for Flexible, Safe and Reliable Assembly and Material Handling Automation

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.

Please visit us at booth #526 or contact us at sales@foriauto.com for more information!

Automated Welding + Fori Robotic Welding + Robotic MIG Welding

Robotic Welding System for Rear Suspension Cradles

Fori recently supplied a highly flexible, automated robotic MIG welding assembly system. The system consisted of three similar lines that were able to accommodate nine different vehicle model variations.

The rear suspension cradle for the project satisfied approximately 90% of the vehicles in the family. There was a high level of importance on ensuring process control, the product had to be accurately controlled and monitored throughout each robotic weld line.

Each automated weld line possesses (21) MIG welding robots and (3) material handling robots. The current assembly system runs between 150 and 181 seconds depending on which model is being processed. After completion of the robotic welding, the critical component characteristics are machined with a pair of precision, custom machining centers.

Robotic Welding - Automated Welding + Fori Welding Systems
Automated Robotic MIG Welding System

The integration of the MIG welding and material handling robots has decreased cycle time and increased system throughput. Utilizing highly accurate machining stations and a repeatable process has also reduced waste and the quality of the final product has been increased.

The system resulted in the following benefits to the end user:

  • Decrease in total cycle time
  • Reduced infrastructure to handle product variations
  • Increase in product quality

Main keys to success included the integrated robots, custom designed turn tables and the custom, precision machining centers.

For more information on Fori’s available equipment, please visit our website or contact us at sales@foriauto.com.

Wheel Alignmnet + End of Line of Testing + Fori + Robotic Toe Set

End of Line Testing Systems – Wheel Aligners, Headlamp Aimers, Robotic Toe Set & Automated Tooling Changeover

Fori recently designed, built and integrated two new robotic wheel aligners with integrated dual mast headlamp aimers.

A total of four robots with Toe set gear heads are utilized for setting Toe within +/- 0.03 degrees from nominal. Front Toe is set by adjusting the tie rod with a Fori patented socket gear head which is driven by a nut runner. The Rear Toe is set by adjusting a cam bolt with a Servo driven gear head.

The equipment needed the ability to align three different vehicle models with uniquely different suspension configurations.

To achieve the cycle time requested Fori utilized a system called “predictor mode” for virtual real time toe and camber measurement. Once the initial tire run out is performed and mapped, all subsequent measurements are predicted based upon the known run out.

Elimination of the typical three second update time required after an adjustment is made, resulted in an average of ten seconds per machine cycle.

Robotic Toe Set + End of Line System + Wheel Alignment + Fori
Fori Robotic Toe Set System

Fori the first time, Fori implemented an auto tooling changeover system. Based upon the vehicle model identified prior to the alignment station, the robots will automatically disconnect and set the existing gear heads into fixture holding stands. The time required for this process simultaneously occurs while the current vehicle is driven off and the next vehicle is driven into the alignment station.

Fori has been supplying End of Line Testing equipment for over thirty years, for more information please visit our website or contact:

Mark VanHaverbeck
Fori Automation, Inc.
586 – 247 – 2336
mvanhaverbeck@foriauto.com

Fori + Nuclear AGV + Automated Guided Vehicle

Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) for Nuclear Power Plant Refurbishment

Fori recently supplied two high capacity, halogen free Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) for a nuclear power plant refurbishment project. The AGVs will result in decreased total infrastructure and long term flexibility for the project team.

Two different high capacity Fori AGVs were designed and built to meet a number of different design requirements. The requirements included specific accuracy, repeatability, dimensions and total load capacities.

The AGV system was designed to support a refurbishment project that runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Each of the vehicles had unique requirements, supporting different dimensional and capacity requirements for safe and reliable operation within the work area.

  • The first vehicle included strict height, width and length requirements, while still providing the capability of transporting up to 18,000 lbs.
Automated Guided Vehicle + AGV + Fori + Nuclear AGV + Nuclear Material Handling
Fori Automated Guided Vehicle for Nuclear Power Plant Refurbishment – 18,000 lbs. Capacity
  • A larger vehicle was also required for the project that was rated to carry up to 70,000 lbs.
Fori + AGV + Nuclear AGV + Nuclear Material Handling + Automated Guided Vehicle
Fori Automated Guided Vehicle for Nuclear Power Plant Refurbishment – 70,000 lbs. Capacity

The Fori AGVs were required to locate within +/- 5mm and allow for finite manual adjustment while handling equipment for the project. A Siemens MP277 Wireless Mobile Panel was provided to the operators for manual adjustment and control.

Due to the 24/7/365 project requirement a lithium ion battery system was utilized, the lithium ion system provided a more reliable power source, that will result in an increased total life of the battery pack and less overall charge time. The system is designed to facilitate charging during load and unload of equipment, minimizing production downtime.

The vehicles have reduced total plant infrastructure for the project, improved safety and increased long term flexibility.

Fori has supplied over 1,000 automated vehicles over the last twenty years, for more information please visit our website.