assembly system for plastic parts
have performed a number of sophisticated pallet based automatic assembly and test projects
for several demanding applications. The system shown here was designed and engineered for
the automation of a glove box latch assembly for a high volume automotive manufacturer.
The latch can be produced in different formats for different applications, hence a modular
automation approach has been adopted. The production volumes are large and hence the
machine cycle time is relatively short. The system was supplied to Southco Manufacturing
winners of the Management Today 2001 Best Factory Award.
TQC have provided multi station industrial automation
production lines and robot workstations in different applications, ranging from automotive
parts manufacture, transfer of green state ceramic components, medical device assembly and
precision automation at high speeds.
This particular assembly cell is engineered to have
minimum operator involvement. All parts are automatically fed from vibratory bowl feeder
systems where box quantities of product are loosely tipped into the feeding bowls.
The output from the cell is automatically placed
into shipping cartons at the unload station.
The system takes six parts, including plastic mouldings
and springs to assemble the latch. The part is tested for correct operation within the
cell after the assembly operation is complete. The good parts are automatically ink jet
The facility is completely guarded with aluminium extruded
frames and clear guard panels. All of the openings for the bowl feeders are outside the
guarded area, allowing the operator to top up the bowls without stopping the machine. The
deposit point for the assembled and tested product is also outside of the guarded area.
The carton filling system also has an automatic carton change facility.
production line has been engineered to allow for future variants of the similar high
volume automotive latch mechanisms to be assembled on the same production line. The design
of the assembly cell follows a modular approach; each element is wired and piped back to
distribution points on each station.
The system incorporated a PLC control system complete with
Human Machine Interface Panel. The HMI unit consisted of a display and function buttons,
this was used to provide status information on the machine for diagnostic purposes and
manual setting operations at each station.
Attention was paid to minimising noise levels on the shop
floor by using acoustic covers. In addition, there was a roof on the guarding system over
the pallet conveyor area for additional noise reduction and to keep the whole system
Similar systems have been engineered by TQC to
assemble a diesel fuel switch, a distributor and domestic appliance switches.
TQC used its professional engineering project
management approach to ensure that this project met both timescale and budget
TQC welcomes the opportunity to design and
manufacture complete automation systems to client specifications. Contact our Engineers to
advise you on your automation project.