13.07.2016 | Assembly Automation

Mixed Model Production for Connected Cars

Vehicles are increasingly a part of their networked environment. E-mobility, autonomous driving and Car2X are transforming efficient data exchange in the car and over the Internet into a central vehicle component. Over the next five years, it is estimated that there will be a quarter of billion networked cars on the road around the world, a gigantic growth market. With these new scenarios, the demands placed on connectivity hardware are growing.

The company Novero specializes in the integration of mobile devices in vehicles. The subsidiary of the technology provider Laird develops and manufactures innovative solutions for vehicle communication. As an addition to wireless charging for different types of mobile phones, the Berlin-based company offers a groundbreaking solution through which the mobile device can also be electromagnetically coupled to the internal vehicle antennas.

Scalable modular cell concept for efficient multi-variant production 

The company selected Jonas & Redmann to implement a combination of fully and semi-automated mix-model production in Dabendorf, Germany.

As innovative as the product is, the customer-specified plant design is equally challenging. For this mix-model production, in which demand for individual product models and variants can quickly change, utilization and deliverability are critical parameters of system design. In order to react quickly to changing market requirements, the line must provide maximum flexibility.

To produce up to seven product variants, Jonas & Redmann designed a line comprising self-sufficient modular cells , which are connected via a workpiece carrier system. The standard module cells were integrated with a number of different customer-specific, complex pick and place applications, as well as various press, screw and laser processes. For this production line, the handling specialist Jonas & Redmann has developed different gripper technologies that are particularly gentle to surfaces, some of which can perform several functions simultaneously.

A number of test stations ensure constant quality control. For example, in order to contact various product types, a cell was developed which not only ensures precise handling of the pre-installed WLC device, but which also approaches contact points that differ from product to product with high accuracy. A robot cell with image recognition and integrated laser marking performs a final pin check. Furthermore, the large number of product variants requires production systems which can be refitted and retrofitted quickly and easily. Simple, compact mechanics and pivot mechanisms ensure that the operator can change parts easily.

Automation from a single source

Another customer requirement was to set up the machine with control and drive technology from Siemens. The brains of the production line is the PC-based software S7-1500 software controller, which communicates with the independent module cells. The software controller has the advantage of running completely independent of Windows. A Windows reboot or crash thus no longer influences the execution of the control program. The use of PC-based automation also allows a consistently compact and modular design of the WLC production line.  The system, which is cost effective and low-maintenance, can be expanded easily in the future (software and HMI), without changing the existing foundation.

Clear visualization for maximum ease of use

The user interface was created using the visualization software TIA Portal WinCC V13 and guides the operator with maximum usability through all process steps. Graphical illustrations of the individual modules and a module selection with function text ensure easy orientation for the operator. Process parameters that are taught once are stored as a record and can be accessed again as needed. Quality-relevant data can be recorded in definable depth and, thanks to a modular information system and project-oriented process diagram, can be easily retrieved, including mobile via email or SMS.

In conclusion, the Jonas & Redmann module cell concept reliably guarantees the required high degree of variant and volume flexibility to Novero Laird Business. Plant capacity can be scaled across multiple investments in small increments.

Kontakt Jonas & Redmann:

Andreas Nowak
Leitung Montageautomation

Elke Beune
030 230 866-6823