EP3393708A1 - Assembly line for motor vehicle bodywork components - Google Patents

Assembly line for motor vehicle bodywork components

Info

Publication number
EP3393708A1
EP3393708A1 EP15831233.0A EP15831233A EP3393708A1 EP 3393708 A1 EP3393708 A1 EP 3393708A1 EP 15831233 A EP15831233 A EP 15831233A EP 3393708 A1 EP3393708 A1 EP 3393708A1
Authority
EP
European Patent Office
Prior art keywords
line
supporting
work
robots
station
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Pending
Application number
EP15831233.0A
Other languages
German (de)
French (fr)
Inventor
Carlo Paletto
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
OLCI Engineering Srl
Original Assignee
OLCI Engineering Srl
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by OLCI Engineering Srl filed Critical OLCI Engineering Srl
Priority to PCT/IB2015/059977 priority Critical patent/WO2017109557A1/en
Publication of EP3393708A1 publication Critical patent/EP3393708A1/en
Pending legal-status Critical Current

Links

Classifications

    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B23MACHINE TOOLS; METAL-WORKING NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B23PMETAL-WORKING NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR; COMBINED OPERATIONS; UNIVERSAL MACHINE TOOLS
    • B23P21/00Machines for assembling a multiplicity of different parts to compose units, with or without preceding or subsequent working of such parts, e.g. with programme control
    • B23P21/004Machines for assembling a multiplicity of different parts to compose units, with or without preceding or subsequent working of such parts, e.g. with programme control the units passing two or more work-stations whilst being composed
    • B23P21/006Machines for assembling a multiplicity of different parts to compose units, with or without preceding or subsequent working of such parts, e.g. with programme control the units passing two or more work-stations whilst being composed the conveying means comprising a rotating table
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B23MACHINE TOOLS; METAL-WORKING NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B23PMETAL-WORKING NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR; COMBINED OPERATIONS; UNIVERSAL MACHINE TOOLS
    • B23P21/00Machines for assembling a multiplicity of different parts to compose units, with or without preceding or subsequent working of such parts, e.g. with programme control
    • B23P21/004Machines for assembling a multiplicity of different parts to compose units, with or without preceding or subsequent working of such parts, e.g. with programme control the units passing two or more work-stations whilst being composed
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B23MACHINE TOOLS; METAL-WORKING NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B23PMETAL-WORKING NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR; COMBINED OPERATIONS; UNIVERSAL MACHINE TOOLS
    • B23P2700/00Indexing scheme relating to the articles being treated, e.g. manufactured, repaired, assembled, connected or other operations covered in the subgroups
    • B23P2700/50Other automobile vehicle parts, i.e. manufactured in assembly lines

Abstract

Assembly line for motor vehicle bodywork components comprising a plurality of work stations (P) arranged in series along a first axis (A) and each comprising a table (10) that is able to rotate about a vertical axis (B) and is provided with first supporting means for a first bodywork component and second supporting means for a second bodywork component arranged on opposite sides of the vertical axis (B), one or more work robots (6) arranged on a first side of the line (1) with respect to the axis (A) and at least one handling robot (5) arranged on a second side of the line (1) opposite to the first side with respect to the first axis (A), wherein the work and handing robots (5,6) are suitable to act simultaneously on a respective bodywork component arranged on the respective side of the line (1).

Description

"ASSEMBLY LINE FOR MOTOR VEHICLE BODYWORK COMPONENTS"
TECHNICAL FIELD
The present invention relates to an assembly line for motor vehicle bodywork components.
A preferred application of the invention is in the assembly of doors of motor vehicles, to which the following description refers but without any loss of generality.
BACKGROUND ART
A method for assembling the doors of motor vehicles known in the prior art consists of performing a series of operations in sequence along a production line, for example a series of mounting, tacking and welding operations.
As a general rule, there is a dedicated line for each door of the motor vehicle, which means there must be the same number of lines as the number of doors of the motor vehicle .
Each of these lines usually comprises a plurality of stations in each of which at least one specific operation is performed, a plurality of handling robots configured to move the door from one station to another and, for each station, a plurality of work robots.
With reference to one specific station, the door is fed to the station by a first handling robot, it undergoes the operations performed in the station by one or more work robots and is removed from the station by a second handling robot, which feeds it to the next station.
In this way at least one of the handling or work robots is inactive since it must wait for the robot downstream or upstream to complete its operation. This results in considerable down times in the work cycle.
In the motor vehicle industry the need is therefore felt to make production lines more efficient and cost- effective.
DISCLOSURE OF INVENTION
The purpose of the present invention is to provide a production line that overcomes the problems associated with the prior art system described above.
The above purpose is achieved with a production line as claimed in claim 1.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
In order to better understand the present invention, a non-limiting preferred embodiment thereof will now be described by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
figure 1 is a diagram of a layout of a production line according to the invention;
figures 2a-2d are perspective views of a station of the production line in figure 1; and figure 3 is a graph illustrating the ratio of down times to operating times during a work cycle of the production line according to the invention.
BEST MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION Figure 1 shows an assembly line 1 for assembling doors
D of a motor vehicle that extends along an axis A and comprises a handling section 2 located on one side with respect to the axis A and a work section 3 located on the opposite side of the axis A with respect to the handling section 2.
The production line 1 further comprises a number of n stations P, arranged in series along the axis A, in each of which one or more operations are performed, in particular welding operations.
The handling section 2 comprises, for each station P, a handling robot 5, preferably a robot of the pick and place type, configured to transfer the doors D between the station P and the next station.
The first handling robot 5 on the line is configured to pick up a door panel D0 from a loading station (not illustrated) while the last handling robot 5 is configured to carry a finished door Dn to an unloading station (not illustrated) .
The work section 3 comprises, for each station P, one or more work robots, configured to perform a given operation, for example welding robots 6, in said station. Each welding robot 6 comprises its own welding tip dressing station 7. All of the work robots are arranged in the work section 3 of the assembly line 1, that is to say, on the opposite side of the axis A with respect to the handling robots 5.
Each station P comprises a table 10 that is able to rotate about a vertical axis B.
Figure 2a illustrates a first preferred embodiment of the table 10.
According to this embodiment, the table 10 basically comprises a central body 11 and a pair of arms 12 borne by the central body 11 and extending radially from said body on diametrically opposite sides.
The central body 11 comprises a fixed lower part 13 and a upper part 11a made to rotate with respect to the lower part lib about a vertical axis B by an actuator 13, by means of a conventional transmission that is not illustrated. The upper part 11a is substantially a prism with an axis B, with four main faces 11c, parallel to one another in pairs, in which there are respective holes 15, facing and coaxial with one another in pairs.
Each arm 12 comprises a shaft 16 extending from an end portion 17 thereof, and housed in a respective hole 15 so as to support the arm in a cantilevered fashion. The arms 12 are provided with a plurality of anchorage points 20, preferably holes, to permit the attachment of supporting devices 21 configured for respective doors D, for example a right door and a left door or a front door and a rear door. The anchorage points 20 are arranged on an upper surface 24 and on a lower surface 25 of the arms 12.
The functioning of the production line 1 will now be described for a general station Pn . D in indicates a general (n-th) door in the condition it is in at the end of the work process performed in the station Pn .
The cycle is described starting from an initial condition in which the door D in (for example a right door) is on the arm 12 of the table 10 located in the work section 3 in the station Pn, at the end of the work process, and a subsequent door i+i,ri-i (for example a left door) has been loaded onto the arm 12 of the station Pn located in the handling section 2. In a first step, the table 10 rotates so as to place the door D in in the handling section 2 and the door D ;+ι_ι in the work section 3, in a position facing the work robots 6.
In a second step, the work robots 6 perform the operations for which they are designed on the door D i+ln_1; meanwhile, in the handling section 2 the handling robot 5 picks up the door D in and transfers it to the next station P-n+ir and the handling robot 5 in the station Pn- moves a subsequent door D t+2,n-i onto the table 10 of the station Pn .
The two steps are performed cyclically: as soon as the work on the door D i+ln_1 is finished (this door is now indicated as D i+ln) , the table 10 rotates, to move the door D i+2,n-i into the work station 3. While this door is being processed, the door D i+ln is transferred to the station Pn+1 , and a new door D ;+3;n_i is loaded onto the table 10.
In figure 6 the times of the various operations in the work cycle are shown in a graph. As described previously, the work cycle comprises a work step with a duration of Tt and a rotation step with a duration of T2, which follow one another in alternating order with a period T, or cycle time, equal to the sum of Tt and T2.
The work step, with a duration of Tt comprises the operation of transferring the doors between one station and the other and the welding operations, performed in parallel. The time Tt is conveniently comprised between 10 and 20 s and is preferably approximately 15 s.
The rotation step, with a duration of T2, is the "down time" of the work cycle in which both the welding robots 6 and the handling robots 5 are inactive. Conveniently, this time T2, is less than 5 s and, even more preferably, is approximately 4 s.
Conveniently, the door assembly cycle is temporarily interrupted every n cycle times, for example every 12 cycle times, to perform a tip dressing operation on the welding tools .
This dressing operation is performed simultaneously for all of the welding robots, in the respective dressing stations 7 of each one, and has a duration of between 10 and 15 s, and preferably of approximately 12 s. If performed every 12 cycle times, the dressing step, considered in relation to the single cycle time, thus results in an extremely short additional down time of around 1 s .
The total down time is thus a small percentage of the cycle time T (for example 5 seconds out of a total of 19) .
Figure 2b shows a first alternative embodiment of the table 10 with respect to that shown in figure 2a.
According to this embodiment the table 10 comprises four arms 12a, 12b, arranged crosswise and borne by the respective faces 11c as previously described. The arms 12a, which are opposite one another, are provided with supporting devices 21a for a first door model (for example the front doors, or the right or left doors of a vehicle model) .
Likewise, the arms 12b, which are opposite one another, are provided with supporting devices 21b for a second door model (for example the front doors, or the right or left doors of a vehicle model) . According to this embodiment, the vehicle model can be changed in real-time, simply by using either one or the other pairs of arms 12a or 12b each time.
Figure 2c illustrates a second alternative embodiment of the table 10 in which, compared to the embodiment in figure 2b, two opposite arms, for example the arms 12a, are provided with two supporting devices 21a, 21c fixed respectively to the upper surface 24 and to the lower surface 25. A second actuator 22, preferably an electric motor, is configured to allow the arms 12a to rotate about a common axis C.
In this way, by combining the rotation of the table 10 and of the arms 12a it is possible to manage the production of three different vehicle models.
Figure 2d shows a third alternative embodiment in which all of the four arms 12a, 12b each carry two supporting devices 21, one on the upper surface 24 and one on the lower surface 25.
Thus, by combining the rotation of the table 10 and of the arms 12a, 12b it is possible to manage the production of four different vehicle models.
The advantages of an assembly line according to the present invention are apparent from the above description.
The use of a rotating table 10, combined with the arrangement of the work and handling robots on opposite sides of each station, means that work and handling operations can be performed parallelly on the doors. This results in a drastic reduction in down times, which only occur during the rotation of the table 10.
Since more work time is available, the number of work robots can be reduced compared to a conventional assembly line to perform the same operations, with a subsequent reduction in production costs and the space taken up by the line .
The work cycle time is further optimised by dressing all the welding tips at the same time.
Lastly it is clear that modifications and variations may be made to the line 1 without departing from the scope of the present invention, as set forth in the claims.

Claims

1.- Assembly line for motor vehicle bodywork components comprising a plurality of work stations (P) arranged in series along an axis (A) , each of said stations P comprising:
- a table (10) that is able to rotate about a vertical axis (B) and is provided with first supporting means for a first bodywork component and second supporting means for a second bodywork component arranged on opposite sides of said vertical axis (B) ,
- at least one work robot (6) arranged on a first side (3) of said line (1) with respect to said axis (A);
- at least one handling robot (5) arranged on a second side (2) of the line (1) opposite the first side (3) with respect to said axis (A) ;
said table (10) being suitable to assume at least a first position in which said first supporting means are arranged on the first side (3) and said second supporting means are arranged on the second side (2), and a second position in which said second supporting means are arranged on the first side (3) and said first supporting means are arranged on the second side (2),
said at least one work robot (6) and said at least one handling robot (5) being suitable to act simultaneously on a respective bodywork component arranged on the respective side of said line (1) .
2. - Production line as claimed in claim 1, characterised in that said table (10) comprises a central body (11) provided with a portion (lib) that is able to rotate about said vertical axis (B) , said first and second supporting means comprising respective arms (12) extending from opposite sides with respect to said central body (11) .
3. - Production line as claimed in any one of claims 1 or 2, characterised in that said arms (12) comprise anchorage means (20) for supporting devices (21) of said bodywork components.
4. Production line as claimed in claim 3, characterised in that said anchorage means (20) are arranged on at least one of an upper surface (25) and a lower surface (24) of said arms (12) .
5. - Production line as claimed in any one of the claims from 2 to 4, characterised in that said arms (12) are configured to rotate about their own longitudinal axis (C) .
6. - Production line as claimed in one of the preceding claims, characterised in that said work robots on said first side (3) comprise welding robots (6) .
7. - Production line as claimed in claim 6, characterised in that each welding robot (6) is provided with a dressing station (7) .
8. - Method for assembling motor vehicle bodywork components on an assembly line comprising a plurality of stations (P) in series, said method comprising a first handling step in which the bodywork components are transferred from the respective stations (Pn) to subsequent stations (Pn+1) ) , and a work step in which at least one operation is carried out in each station (Pn) , characterised in that each station (Pn) comprises a table (10) that is able to rotate about a vertical axis and is provided with first and second supporting means for respective bodywork components arranged on opposite sides of the vertical axis,
the method comprising a third step in which said table (10) is rotated between a first position in which said first supporting means are arranged on a first side (3) of the line and said second supporting means are arranged on a second side (2) of the line, and a second position in which said second supporting means are arranged on the first side (3) of the line and said first supporting means are arranged on the second side (2) of the line,
the first step and the second step being performed simultaneously on first bodywork components arranged on the first side (3) of the line and on second bodywork components arranged on the second side (2) of the line, and alternating with said third step.
9. - Method as claimed in claim 8, characterised in that said first step is performed by means of handling robots (5) arranged on said second side (2) of the line, and in that said second step is performed by work robots (6) arranged on said first side (3) of the line and comprising welding robots.
10. - Method of production as claimed in claim 8 or 9, characterised in that it comprises a step of dressing the tools used by the welding robots (6), said dressing step being performed periodically and simultaneously by all of the welding robots (6) after a given number of cycles.
11. - Method as claimed in one of the claims from 8 to 10, characterised in that the duration of the third step is less than half the duration of the first and of the second step .
12. - Method as claimed in one of the claims from 8 to 10, characterised in that the duration of the third step is less than one third of the duration of the first and of the second step.
EP15831233.0A 2015-12-24 2015-12-24 Assembly line for motor vehicle bodywork components Pending EP3393708A1 (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
PCT/IB2015/059977 WO2017109557A1 (en) 2015-12-24 2015-12-24 Assembly line for motor vehicle bodywork components

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
EP3393708A1 true EP3393708A1 (en) 2018-10-31

Family

ID=55300727

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
EP15831233.0A Pending EP3393708A1 (en) 2015-12-24 2015-12-24 Assembly line for motor vehicle bodywork components

Country Status (4)

Country Link
EP (1) EP3393708A1 (en)
CN (1) CN108463312A (en)
BR (1) BR112018012501A2 (en)
WO (1) WO2017109557A1 (en)

Families Citing this family (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
FR3085610B1 (en) * 2018-09-06 2020-11-27 Psa Automobiles Sa MOTOR VEHICLE OPENING MODULAR ASSEMBLY ISLAND

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JP2012197175A (en) * 2011-03-10 2012-10-18 Sharp Corp Transfer apparatus and assembly apparatus
US20150090769A1 (en) * 2012-09-25 2015-04-02 Keylex Corporation Welding Apparatus

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JPH0749159B2 (en) * 1986-05-23 1995-05-31 スズキ株式会社 Automatic welding equipment
JP2621708B2 (en) * 1991-10-04 1997-06-18 日産自動車株式会社 Chip dresser management device for automobile production line
JPH05208348A (en) * 1992-01-30 1993-08-20 Daifuku Co Ltd Working equipment
US6662083B2 (en) * 2000-10-31 2003-12-09 Progressive Tool & Industries Co. Multiple robotic workstation with multiple fixtures
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US8413972B2 (en) * 2009-10-08 2013-04-09 Lincoln Global, Inc. Multiple axis positioner
CN201519853U (en) * 2009-10-22 2010-07-07 沈阳金杯江森自控汽车内饰件有限公司 Seat backrest skeleton spot welding robot fixture
CN102126091A (en) * 2010-12-17 2011-07-20 奇瑞汽车股份有限公司 Flexible production process of door cover
CN102935563A (en) * 2012-10-26 2013-02-20 安徽瑞祥工业有限公司 Multi-vehicle-mixed automatic-turntable robot welding line for vehicle side surround parts
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Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
JP2012197175A (en) * 2011-03-10 2012-10-18 Sharp Corp Transfer apparatus and assembly apparatus
US20150090769A1 (en) * 2012-09-25 2015-04-02 Keylex Corporation Welding Apparatus

Non-Patent Citations (1)

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Title
See also references of WO2017109557A1 *

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
CN108463312A (en) 2018-08-28
WO2017109557A1 (en) 2017-06-29
BR112018012501A2 (en) 2018-12-11

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