For the complete door module car set assembly, there are two lines (front and rear) with conveyors carrying the front door module down one side and the rear down the other.
These modules are then assembled in parallel using an identical sequence. Assembly operations include: pulley pre-assembly and riveting; drum winding; window regulator assembly; motor and speaker assembly; latch placement and the incorporation of a side-impact sensor and wire harness.
The EOL inspection stations then undertake full door module functionality tests and motor noise sound inspection (in a sound room), deploying a Poka Yoke quality system.
According to Rockwell Automation Account Manager Miroslav Novotny: “This was a complex project, which was made easier thanks to the use of a number of Allen-Bradley® products from our Integrated Architecture portfolio.
The main line controllers on the front and rear lines are Allen-Bradley ControlLogix 1756 L73 programmable automation controller (PAC). The chain conveyors and motors, which handle all aspects of pallet movement are controlled using Allen-Bradley PowerFlex® 525 variable-speed drives.
This comprises lateral and up and down movement of the pallets between workstations, and control of the recirculating conveyor, which takes empty palettes back to the beginning of the production line.”
The ControlLogix PAC collects, collates and controls all the signals from the various assembly stations using an EtherNet/IP network, Stratix™ managed switches and Allen-Bradley POINT I/O™ modules, which have been used due to the long distances involved – the primary conveyor is 15 m long.
At the end of the line, in the testing stations, four Allen-Bradley CompactLogix™ PACs are used, two in the sound rooms and two in final inspection. The ControlLogix PAC also oversees a robot used on part of the line.
The automation solution is completed by a wide variety of Allen-Bradley low-voltage products, including buttons, sensors and other accessories, inside the cabinets deployed at each station.
Finally, the line’s safety infrastructure, which complies with all local safety legislation, comprises a number of Allen-Bradley safety gates, linked together with emergency stops at each station, all connected in series to safety relays within main control cabinet.
Rockwell Automation Global solutions team leader in the Czech Republic, Petr Veselý, explains: “I have worked with PHA for 10 years now and for this project we started with face-to-face meetings with their engineers, who gave us a very detailed specification, including 3D models of the final product.
They also gave us their expectations regarding timings and volume targets. In this instance we supplied the complete solution, not just the control solution and software; we effectively owned and supervised the whole line, including all mechanical and electrical elements.
We also dealt with three local mechanical assembly suppliers and once the concept had been created we then handled all of the approvals within PHA.