What's New in Automotive Manufacturing?
Low-torque fastening system, collaborative robot with built-in vision system; face mill for thin-walled aluminum parts; semi-automatic cable stripper.
Low-Torque Fastening System
The ASG CCS is a small, lightweight electric screwdriver system designed particularly for low torque applications. Its brushless DC motor allows a torque range of 10.0 to 180 mN.m (1.42–25.56 in-oz.). It’s made for screw sizes from S0.6 and larger. An included controller enables 16 different rundown strategies to be set up to account for the range of specific screws and desired torques within a single job. Setting those rundown strategies is made easier with a graphing system. The driver is designed to easily mount to a robot.
Collaborative Robot with Built-in Vision System
The Omron TM Series collaborative robot is designed to be easy to relocate, set up and teach to do repetitive tasks such as machine tending, loading and unloading, assembly, screw driving, gluing, testing, or soldering A flowchart-based programming interface and a manual teaching function allow operators to teach the robot with hand-guidance, so. no prior robot programming experience is necessary. It features an integrated on-arm wide-angle vision system and a light source that enable pattern matching, barcode reading, color identification, and other image-sensing abilities. It complies with the safety requirements for human-robot collaboration specified in ISO 10218-1 and ISO/TS 15066.
Face Mill for Thin-walled Aluminum Parts
The M5F90 face-milling cutter from Sandvik Coromant is designed to improve the efficiency of milling thin-walled aluminum workpieces in both roughing and finishing in a single operation, saving time and tool inventory costs. Available in diameters of 0.98–3.15 inch, it carries brazed PCD inserts that are designed to enable high, vibration-free feed rates with no adjusting needed. Its roughing edges enable machining up to a 0.157-inch depth of cut. The finishing tool head features radial and axial stepped cutting edges for high-quality surface finishes. The cutting angles, insert shape and edge preparation are designed to eliminate scratches, burrs or other damage to the workpiece.
Semi-automatic Cable Stripper
The Schleuniger CoaxStrip 6480 semi-automatic stripping machine processes coaxial cables with an outer diameter of 0.047 to 0.472 inches (1.2–12 mm). It features three quality-ensuring functions: One prevents the processing of incorrect wires by verifying that the inserted wire’s outer diameter matches the value entered. If not, the machine stops and an error message is displayed. Another is a cable retraction function that automatically guides the wire into the correct stripping position, simplifying work with flexible materials and long stripping lengths. And a cable end detection function ensures that the lengths of the stripped wires are exact and precise, no matter how they are inserted into the machine. The system automatically calculates processing parameters based on raw material data. A digital library of such data on the most common coaxial cables, as well as presets for conductor cross-sections, is included.
Paul Spadafora, chief engineer, Cadillac XT5, had, in his estimation, a fantastic opportunity as he and his team set about to develop Cadillac’s all-new midsize crossover vehicle for a number of reasons, one of which is the simple fact that this is one of the hottest segments going in the auto industry, so if you want to be in the game, you have to play hard against the likes of the Audi Q5 and the Mercedes GLE-Class.
Although “Detroit” is synonymous with “automotive production,” the only major OEM that actually manufactures vehicles within the city limits is Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, as it runs the Jefferson North Assembly plant in Detroit, where the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Dodge Durango are built.
Several years back, one of the authors visited a major North American assembly plant engaged in the launch of a new vehicle program. A "ramp-up" schedule was prominently displayed on a bulletin board deep in the heart of the plant. The schedule indicated that the day of the visit was the same day the plant was originally planned to achieve full capacity production of its new product. Yet the plant was actually producing only a few units an hour! The assembly plant's tardiness is certainly not uncommon, but did contribute to our interest in the wide range in vehicle launch performance across major vehicle firms.