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JUST A COUPLE OF SCREWS CAN SPAWN AN INNOVATIVE SOLUTION

Assembly station

Audi, Volkswagen, Škoda and Seat — these big automotive brands have entrusted metal seat frame production to the Polish company Sitech Sp. z o.o. Emphasis on quality is a given. Therefore, all processes during assembly are very carefully monitored and controlled.

As the metal seat frame visits one of the production stations at the Polish plant, the backrest regulator is tightened. This involves three key joints that must have optimal reliability. However, it was exactly these joints that prompted the most complaints from the quality department. “They were often dissatisfied. Not all screws were tightened properly,” explains Krzysztof Korniluk of Sitech. This is why they chose to find better equipment for their line. “We needed equipment that would guarantee reliable tightening for all three joints,” he says.

Operator guided tightening, now machine guides operator

Atlas Copco submitted the most interesting offer. “We recommended that the customer use a holder with braces during production, so that the backrest is firmly attached during assembly,” explains Piotr Kosmala of Atlas Copco, who solved the problem in Poland. They then attached the holder to a Power Focus 4000 drive unit, which controls the entire process. The operator now inserts the product into the holder, tightens the brackets, and they automatically lock. They ensure that all three joints are properly tightened. “The brackets don’t let go of the assembled part until they are all tightened correctly,” explains Mr. Korniluk.

“Through its built-in functions, the Power Focus 4000 unit helps control this assembly station,” Piotr Kosmala says. The PF 4000 checks the tightening quality, communicates with the operator, and guides the whole tightening process. This eliminates the risk of errors that would threaten product quality. “Advanced process control and monitoring functions also ease viewing and collection of data through the Internet infrastructure,” adds Łukasz Niepsuj, Project Coordinator from Atlas Copco, who leaded the implementation.

At Sitech they are very satisfied with the solution. Downstream assembly stages no longer send the product back due to defective joints. “In manufacturing, that makes a big difference. We don’t have to deal with constant complaints, we don’t waste time or material on repairs, and we’re working at a hundred per cent,” says Mr. Korniluk. That is why they have decided to install the same solution on three other assembly stations in the future.

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