The car manufacturing industry has gone through many paradigm shifts over the years. Globalization, new technologies, trends and diversification has led to many challenges, but also opportunities. It should come as no surprise that car manufacturers take these challenges very seriously and are always looking for ways to innovate their business.
One such innovation project was when one of the most famous car manufacturers recently set out to further improve ergonomics for their workers and increase the flexibility of one of their production lines. The project culminated in a forward-thinking custom AGV lifting solution that includes lift tables from VPG.
In their new site, they will soon have a ProFleet 4200, an AGV lifting solution by CPM Dürr Group that matches the impressive engineering of their latest luxury car brand. The project is a joint effort between CPM, VPG and the car manufacturer.
CPM, part of global giant Dürr, specializes in final assembly and has an impressive list of clients such as Tesla and Ford. The group is a global market leader in the automotive sector with an annual sale of approximately 4€Bn/year.
Additionally, the new AGV solution at the factory may very well offer a peak into the future. We have spoken to project leader Enrico Maccarini at CPM to learn more.
“We had to consider a multitude of factors and make sure the equipment could deliver the desired outcomes,” Enrico begins. “We decided to integrate ProFleet and lift table so we could easily adjust position and height for a specific action. We also wanted a flexible solution in order to create more manufacturing opportunities and possible applications,” Enrico continues.
The way it works is quite clever. The body of the car is hoisted from the ceiling and the AGV is positioned underneath it. Then, the part is carefully lifted into position by the lift table while the body is lowered. When the parts meet in the correct position the worker can easily inspect, assemble and secure the part where it belongs. And then, on to the next station for the next part or action.
“The final AGV solution will use a mechanical spiral lift rather than a hydraulic one in order to achieve an extra level of precision and reduce oil usage,” says Joakim Paulsson from VPG.
“Our goal is always to meet the needs of the customer and if that means we must think outside of the box in order to achieve the desired outcomes then that is what we will do. Using a spiral lift is a good complement for certain operations and production lines,” Joakim adds.
We suspect that this type of AGV lifting solution will become more and more commonplace in the future. With recent advances in technology and AI we have only begun to scratch the surface of what is possible. The idea of a “liquid factory” where multiple AGVs have full mobility and can be used for a large variety of tasks is most definitely intriguing.
“There have been a lot of challenges along the way, but we did it. VPG has been a fantastic support through this. The final result is great and we cannot wait to deliver everything to the site,” Enrico concludes.