Short cycle times and economical production don't go together - do they? We explain how LEWA brings together the highest quality standards, low unit numbers and a low TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) in automotive manufacturing.
Supercars are characterized by a whole range of defining features: They have quick acceleration and incredible top speeds, outstanding handling, first-class workmanship - and they are very rare. They are simply super cars.
We were pleased and honored that LEWA Attendorn was commissioned with the concept and development of a production system for the rear end of such a hybrid super sports car. This project presented several challenges but above all a central problem: How do you meet the highest quality demands and questions of economy when the planned volume is so low?
The application processes required by the customer within the production system were varied: Around 350 self-pierce rivets were to be applied per assembly, plus the camera-guided setting of 48 blind rivet studs per assembly. In addition, MIG welding was to be carried out over a total length of just under 2,500 millimeters, an adhesive application over a total length of 8,100 millimeters including subsequent camera control, and a sealant application over 7,650 millimeters.
We were able to meet the requirements in LEWA Attendorn-typical quality to the complete satisfaction of our customer. The production system we conceptualized, designed and tested is characterized by a highly efficient and highly automated production line consisting of individual, standardized production modules.
The use of tools and applications is kept to a minimum through "part to the tool" design, while efficiency remains high thanks to variable fixture and gripper technology, including an automated setup process for a product variants.
The automated application of adhesive and sealant is monitored during the application process by means of industrial image processing. After completion of the applications and the camera-guided setting of the blind rivet studs, the parts are marked for traceability purposes and the production data is documented. The finished assemblies are then discharged into a special load carrier.
The greatest potential for generating real added value for the customer was to be found in achieving the best possible cost-effectiveness and a low total cost of ownership, even though the super sports car was only to be produced in limited numbers.
LEWA Attendorn was able to achieve this in several ways:
Quality has its price - but that doesn't mean that high-quality performance can't still be cost-effective. We are pleased that we were entrusted with this exceptional order and that LEWA Attendorn was able to implement it to the complete satisfaction of the customer. The challenges within this project were not only the highly automated implementation of diverse application processes within an assembly, but also the question of whether a very individual production system can be designed in such a way that it is as economical as possible despite a low number of units.
LEWA Attendorn has answered this question in the affirmative. The combination of cost-optimized, standardized production modules, modular design, a high degree of automation and maximum flexibility within the production system ensures that the system we have designed will certainly not gather dust after the last super sports car has been assembled.
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