Challenges in automotive assembly with self-made IT control solutions
An automotive manufacturer used an older, self-made IT-system that linked with a PLC-based tool control. As they had programmed the interfaces and the software themselves, the maintenance cost increased from year to year. Driven by our Process Control and Error Proofing workshop, we identified great saving potentials, based on their high efforts for configuration changes leading to low flexibility in the production line as well as lack of transparency in production quality. To ensure the faultless quality of the products, a double-check at the end of the line was needed.
Discover how we solved the issues and which impact has been achieved:
Solution | Installation of a server-based tightening control with API interface
Working closely with the team onsite we have reduced the PLC functions to control the conveying system only. Now, after the implementation of our new scalable error proofing system, Smart Assembly Management System (Smart AMS) the tools are fully controlled by this tightening control solution, a server-based installation using open protocol via Ethernet. This way, the PLC for this part becomes obsolete.
With the former, inflexible system, every configuration change of a controller involved 3 to 4 employees from different departments and the modifications could only be realized in the production free time (night shift/weekends).
Smart AMS uses the integrated, standardized application programming interface (API) to adapt the forerun data and the result channel to the IT-system where the orders are managed. This easy-to-use entry-level tightening control solution allows a fast adaption at a low upfront investment. The new solution does not need the implementation of an industrial PC (HMIs) in each assembly station what makes the solution, even more, cost-efficient. All tightening data are now fully collected, centrally stored, and managed with a proper interface to the customer’s MES.