Innovative assembly and testing system for gear controller modules
Modular high-tech automation

Gear controller modules are in great demand. They are used in double-clutch transmissions, where they are responsible for actuating the shift forks. FTE automotive, an internationally active original equipment manufacturer in the fields of powertrain and brake systems, has developed gear selector modules made of a polyamide high-performance plastic that is 35 percent lighter than its comparable aluminum counterpart. Four cylinders, each with two shift positions, are integrated in the plastic housing. The module can thus actuate seven forward and one reverse gear.

With gear controller modules made of high-performance plastic, the renowned automotive supplier FTE automotive a groundbreaking New development successful. No less impressive is the the highly complex, modular automation line, which is behind the product is standing.

The assembly of the modules involves a great deal of know-how on the part of FTE, but also on the part of the company involved in the planning and complete system was ordered by special machine manufacturer M.A.i from Kronach, Germany. "The immense assembly and testing effort can only be explained closer examination", emphasizes M.A.i managing director Hermann Fischer and continues: "In total, we had to carry out over 50 assembly processes and more as 30 functional tests into the system. Since in the last Expansion stage around one million gear shifters per year via the system will be running, bottleneck stations are planned in two versions, in order to be able to achieve the then required cycle times."

The tour of the plant underlines the complexity of the Task: Application of a sealing bead with height measurement via high-resolution cameras, numerous mounting, measuring and leak test stations, ultrasonic welding stations, four fully automatic laser transmission welding systems, teach- and Test stations for Hall sensors and much more give an idea of how much know-how and technological expertise in the plant.

Highly modular plant concept with maximum flexibility

In order to be able to map this complexity in a controllable way, developed M.A.i a highly modular plant concept based on hexagonal Robot cells with six integrated function satellites each based. At the heart of each cell is a Stäubli robot around which Satellites in the form of processing and testing stations in the circle group. The individual cells of the plant are controlled via supply and Outfeed belts linked together. Decisive advantage of this Solution: The system can be extended at any time by additional robot cells for cycle time critical processes and thus perfectly match the Adapt quantity development for FTE.

In the final expansion stage, there will be 13 robots - from four-axis to to various six-axle vehicles - which are able to perform their wide range of tasks around the clock in three shifts. One thing is common to all machines together: their origin. Hermann Fischer: "In this robots from Stäubli, because they are perfectly suited to the needs of the are suitable for such demanding tasks under Clean room conditions. Thanks to its closed structure with internal media ducts they even meet clean room requirements already in standard configuration. In addition, all robots in ESD version against electrostatic charge available - a option, which was indispensable for use here in RTD. And: You work quickly, precisely and reliably."

Although M.A.i. is used for component handling in the four integrated laser transmission welding systems the compact six-axis welding machine TX60 or, as with robotic cell one, on the large one, ultra-fast SCARA TS80, it is the Stäubli TX90, which is used in is used in most robot cells. This six-axis robot with of its compact design has a long range, so that it can be used can easily reach the individual functional satellites of the cells. Whether SCARA or six-axis robots - all Stäubli robots meet the expectations for RTD in full.

"We use only Stäubli robots in this plant, because they are made for such demanding tasks under clean room conditions." Hermann Fischer M.A.i Managing Director Sales and Marketing

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