Custom Conveyor Keeps Johnson Controls Moving Forward
India is one of the world’s fastest-growing economies thanks, in part, to the automotive industry, including suppliers like Johnson Controls. This global conglomerate produces a wide range of components for cars.
Recently, Johnson Controls was confronted with the challenge of more than doubling its seat output for one carmaker’s Indian production site. This was beyond the capabilities of the existing seat assembly conveyor system, so the company looked around for a higher-capacity solution that could be implemented as rapidly as possible.
After taking proposals from multiple companies, Johnson Controls chose Bosch Rexroth to create a conveyor system. Johnson’s main need was an assembly line strong enough to withstand a total weight of 150 kilograms—the weight of a fully assembled seat.
“We had to design a complete system and have it ready on site in less than 60 days,” recalls Akshay Jain, a data engineer at Bosch Rexroth in India.
For Johnson Controls, the Indian engineers used the Rexroth TS 2plus transfer system due to its ability to be configured for a wide variety of fabrication tasks by using a broad assortment of modular elements. The custom system is 22 meters long, with accumulation roller chains and workpiece holders that measure 800 by 800 millimeters.
“In this solution, we not only used the standard components from our modular system; we customized some elements as well,” recounts Jain.
For example, the device that clamps the seat to the holder was adapted and an energy-efficient lifting and lowering mechanism was implemented for the return conveyor. Additionally, the engineers from Bosch designed the system to align with ergonomic principles and took into account the experience of production employees.
“A further challenge was that we had to integrate third-party components in our system,” notes H.R Aditya, a product manager of IIOT at Bosch Rexroth of India. In the end, Johnson Controls had a turnkey conveyor—and car seat production could commence without any further adaptation.
The company was so impressed with the rapid and reliable execution of this project that it recognized Bosch Rexroth in India with its Supplier Award for superlative quality and customer satisfaction. This cooperation has spawned further projects with Bosch.
“Even when problems arose at night, we dispatched a service engineer within one hour, and he got the transfer system back up and running,” reports Jain.
The TS 2plus is designed to transport workpiece pallets weighing up to 240 kilograms. Pallet size can range from 160 to 2,400 millimeters square, and feature a steel or aluminum carrying plate, or an aluminum open frame.
Available types of conveyor media for the system include belt, toothed belt, accumulation roller chain and Vplus chain. Conveyance speed is either 6, 9, 12, 15 or 18 meters per minute. Besides automotive, the system is suitable for sectors such as electronics and electrical technology, medical technology and the optical industry.
For more information on assembly conveyors, call 800-739-7684 or visit www.boschrexroth-us.com.