Adhesive bonding, welding and riveting in the most confined spaces and in a fully automated fashion - IBG's latest multifunctional robot cell is a true all-rounder in the mounting of components. From the exhaust pipe to the cylinder head gasket: today the average passenger car consists of up to 10,000 individual parts. The number can be higher, depending on the car's size and equipment. Carmakers procure almost all the necessary parts from specialised suppliers from all over the world: brakes and tyres, coolers and pumps, steering wheels and headlights, radios and navigation devices as well as chassis-specific components. Such chassis-specific components also include supposedly inconspicuous stabilisation components that provide for optimal force transmission, the best vehicle comfort and safety. It is important that these aluminium components, consisting of varous continuously cast profiles and die-cast node pieces, be mounted with assured quality. Here different component forms for left-hand-drive or right-hand-drive vehices must be kept in mind.
A further challenge for IBG from the customer side was the necessity to be able to process other components on the equipment, as well as a generally limited space allowance.
IBG confronted this requirement and successfully implemented it within the framework of a multifunctional robot cell. Within this cell different joining processes are implemented in quality-assured fashion with collaborating transfer points for the mounting of components. Generally the components must be bonded, while at the same time additional fixing by means of the spot welding procedure as well as the insertion of press-in nuts and clear marking of the components are required.
After the production order has been scanned with a barcode reader, the employee places the componets in special receptacles that are mounted on an H turning device. A camera system is used to check whether all components have been inserted correctly.
By means of a multi-gripper, the robot then picks up the components provided via an H turning device and takes them to the clamping units in a defined manner within the cell. Parallel to this, adhesive beads are already automatically applied to the bonding surfaces, with these adhesive beads being subjected to a 100% check for quality assurance by means of a scanner. The robot then joins the components together correctly. The adhesive is cured in a separate oven outside the plant.
To ensure safe removal from the clamping device before curing, the robot picks up a welding gun with its multi-gripper and fixes the components with defined welding points. Finally, each component is clearly marked with a scratch embosser.
Within this multifunctional robot cell the most diverse joining methods - adhesive bonding, welding and riveting - could thus be integrated in a confined area.