Assembly in Action: Lifts Speed Up Engine Assembly
November 17, 2008
Cummins Crosspoint LLC (Indianapolis) distributes and provides support services for a range of diesel engines to customers throughout the Midwest. Its products are used in a number of applications, including on- and off-highway vehicles, recreational vehicles and generators.
At its main assembly facility, engines are brought in on skids and then “dressed out” with whatever external components and subassemblies have been specified by the customer. Prior to delivery, these external components are arranged in their packaging along the edge of a workcell where they are then picked out of their dunnage and bolted into place on the engine.
Traditionally, operators would use “gantries and brute force” to manipulate the parts. However, because they can weigh anywhere from 90 pounds to 220 pounds, doing so was often difficult and slow. Final positioning of the larger subassemblies prior to installation could be especially problematic.
To speed up the process, Cummins Crosspoint installed a freestanding workstation crane equipped with three separate bridges, a pair of G-Force “intelligent” lifting devices and a standard hoist from crane manufacturer Gorbel (Fishers, NY).
In its final configuration, Bridge 1 is equipped with a 150-pound G-Force system, which is used to install smaller components. Bridge 2 has a 380-pound G-Force system and is used to install larger, heavier subassemblies, such as cooling packages. The hoist on Bridge 3 is used for transmission mating.
The G-Force lifts feature smooth, precise, servo motion and are equipped with Gorbel’s “float mode” option, which allows operators to both move and steady a load using only minimal force throughout the system’s vertical range of travel.
The result has been a dramatic increase in efficiency coupled with an equally dramatic decrease in installation times.
“The [crane] system has cut down on our time to assemble the engine drastically. Before, it would take us one hour just to install the cooling package. Now it takes less than five minutes,” says Cummins Crosspoint operator Dorian Rice.
Because Gorbel lubricates and seals the motor and gear train of every G-Force at the factory, the systems never need to be lubricated and are virtually maintenance free.
For more cranes and other lifting devices, call 800-821-0086 or visit www.gorbel.com.