The most important goals pursued by the automotive industry for a long time are the quality and the delivery time. In order to ensure that such premises are fulfilled, it is necessary that these companies have machines with fast production cycles and versatile layouts, able to adapt to the production of a large number of different parts. At the same time, for some production lines to spend the shortest possible time, it is necessary that there are devices able to quickly perform the transposition from one stage of production to the next one, freeing operators to more attractive and personalized tasks. Thus, simultaneously it is possible to reach higher production cadences, with the corresponding financial gains, as well as an increase in workers motivation, which will be more productive. In this work, a novel concept of interconnection system between different manufacturing processes is presented in order to overcome the usual waste of time. Moreover, it is intended to show that, by replacing some robotized operation by cheaper automatic systems, it is possible to reduce the cycle time and improve the quality of the parts delivery from one operation to the next one. A case study is also presented corroborating this idea and showing how this principle can be applied in the field. The case study intends to show a novel device able to link the wire bending process and the further stage, the polymer over-injection process, in cushions and suspension mats for automotive seats.
Automation Bending wires Automatic systems Conveyor system Sorting Low-cost solutions
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The authors wish to thank Mr. Mário Cardoso from PR METAL, Lda., for his collaboration and commitment in providing the necessary data when this project started, giving the necessary inputs every time they were needed during the case study development.
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