Assembly in Action: Automation Allows Adaptation for Gear Production
Shorter innovation cycles are leading to modifications in production processes at the DaimlerChrysler facilities in Gaggenau, Germany, and Rastatt, Germany.
The Gaggenau and Rastatt facilities manufacture gearboxes for light-, medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. The gears are manufactured in a tight time frame, and in parallel assembly processes.
In addition to flexible assembly, many assembly tasks are completed in customized machines designed for specific operations and workpieces.
At Gaggenau and Rastatt, there are more than 2,200 machines, including more than 130 grinding machines. In addition, there are 8,000 other devices, such as measuring instruments, handling tools and loading implements. All of these devices are subjected to permanent change with the aim of improving quality and increasing productivity.
Because of the different technologies involved, adapting the machines and plants to new products and process sequences places special demands on the maintenance team. This team’s job is to modernize and optimize production equipment. This also includes linking existing and new plants to production automation.
When the maintenance team went looking for conveyor systems, it chose FlexLink Systems Inc.’s (Bethlehem, PA) conveyors. These modular systems have standard components and modules and are easily assembled and installed. This helps alleviate many of the different interfacing problems that both facilities encounter.
Because the factories also employ just-in-time delivery, there is no production buffer. Spare parts stocking for production equipment is crucial. Therefore, FlexLink Systems set up a central and spare parts store with round-the-clock access.
For more information on modular conveyors, call 800-782-1399 or visit www.flexlink.com.