Automation of production lines for heat-treated vehicle components
For a major international automotive supplier, HEITEC automated several production lines for heat-treated vehicle components.
The result was a considerable cost advantage and competitive edge for the customer.
Previously, the production facilities of this manufacturer of molded components and semi-finished products were only partially automated and testing was by visual inspection.
The new, fully automated, approx. 60 meter-long plant with press, conveyor belts, robots, heat treatment, vibratory finishing machine, laser, cameras for position control, and non-contact optical measurement technology is significantly faster and enables much shorter throughput times and lower inventories.
Around six vehicle components are molded in a metal mold, deburred, heat-treated in a controlled inert atmosphere, cooled in two subsequent cooling zones, cleaned, polished, finished, coated, visually and dimensionally inspected, laser-marked, and packaged, all within the space of one minute.
The geometrical measurements of the metal parts are performed ten to a hundred times faster, thus reducing system costs.
This perfected process chain guarantees the implementation of a sophisticated zero-defect concept.
For the fully automated production plant, HEITEC subsidiary Erhardt + Abt developed not only the linking system’s fully automated loading and unloading cells, which included functional sequence control, but also complex processes such as the deburring of raw parts and the comprehensive testing of finished parts as well as their marking and packaging.