When an assembly press supplier meets with a manufacturer to discuss its next purchase, both parties focus on one question: Which type and model of press is best for the current application? Mike Brieschke, vice president of sales at Aries Engineering Corp., recalls how two such meetings in 2006 with automotive OEMs led the supplier to ask itself another question: Which type of press is best for the future of assembly?
Walk through any automotive plant, and there’s a good chance you’ll see lift assists in use for product assembly. Common lift assists include large or small hoists, air balancers, extension arms and end-effectors (clamp, hook, vacuum, magnet, etc.).
Today’s typical automobile features nearly 100 exterior and interior sensors, with the number likely to increase in the near future. Those located on the outside (axle load, steering angle, blind spots, air temperature, etc.) require special protection from the elements and unique production methods.
One way for a manufacturer to enter a new market is through acquisition. However, one downside of the strategy is that the manufacturing assets you acquire do not always mesh perfectly with how you like to do things.
CHATTANOOGA, TN—Volkswagen of America is going to court to block an order that it negotiate a contract with the UAW for maintenance employees at its assembly plant here. The workers voted to unionize last year.