In the automotive industry the production strategies are based on the Just-In-Time principle. Sets of wheels are also ordered for the assembly line with only a few hours’ notice. Cimcorp knows how to ensure deliveries on schedule
Even though fitting a tire onto a rim is highly automated, the collecting of vehicle-specific sets of wheels (front and rear wheels and spare wheel) has largely been done manually. The order from car plant to supplier is sent in real-time and usually no two sets are the same. This is to take into account the different preferences of car buyers regarding tires and rims.
Cimcorp’s robotic system for buffering, sorting and order picking of tire-wheel-assemblies (TWA) revolutionizes the logistics at TWA assembly plants.
After the assembly line, the Cimcorp robot stores mounted tire-wheel assemblies in a buffer storage to await dispatch to the automobile plant. The system is able to handle hundreds of SKUs (different product items). The robot picks up vehicle-specific wheel stacks from the buffer storage on the basis of orders from the auto plant. The conveyor system delivers the wheel stacks from the gantry robots to the delivery trucks automatically.
Keeping to schedule by automation
Automobile plants usually supply their subcontractors with weekly forecasts of the sets of wheels they will require. The only problem is that the order of deliveries is not defined in advance. Wheels are ordered for cars on the assembly line only a few hours before they are fitted. Subcontractors incur substantial penalties for late or incorrect deliveries.
Cimcorp’s robot system enables the more efficient manufacture of larger series ready for storage according to the weekly forecast. When the final order comes through, the gantry robot takes the right sets of wheels from storage and delivers them to the loading dock in the right sequence via conveyor. Keeping to schedule is one of the definite strengths of Cimcorp’s system. Gantry robots work untiringly and do not make mistakes; they are quick and can handle even the heaviest car tire-wheel assemblies with ease.
Picture caption: Cimcorp’s system can handle a wide range of different product items (SKUs) and different combinations of vehicle-specific tires and rims.
TEXT: PAULA OVASKAINEN PHOTO: ESA KYYRÖ