ROSE Systemtechnik equips an automobile engine assembly line with special enclosures

Because of the wide range of models, modern automobile production requires complex, tightly-synchronised manufacturing processes. Assembly systems supplied by the E. Schmid GmbH company from Sonnenbühl allow the manufacturers to carry out optimal adaptation of their production processes to meet these challenges. These assembly lines are controlled in a highly-efficient way by using ROSE Systemtechnik’s panel PCs in special enclosures.

Non-stop quality

There is hardly a single sector which needs to be as flexible as the automobile industry, because the number of individual automobile models is constantly increasing, while the batch sizes are falling. Also important are new vehicle types, such as hybrids and electric cars, production of which can be accomplished only via complete restructuring of conventional manufacturing methods. These few examples show the tasks which face the manufacturers and demonstrate clearly that efficient organisation of the assembly lines is essential for the financial success of the automotive groups.

Since 1960 E. Schmid GmbH & Co. KG has been manufacturing a wide range of automation engineering, transfer, mounting and transport systems together with the matching control units. Every piece of equipment is planned and designed in close cooperation with the customers in order to be able to achieve their product targets in as few steps as possible.

Assembly line for highly-efficient engine production

The focus of the Swabian company is on the automobile industry, and this is where the company supplies a large share of its assembly systems. On behalf of a well-known automobile manufacturer, Schmid developed an example of a complete assembly line for engine production. It was a challenging situation, because the customer wished to manufacture several engine types on a single line in order to increase his flexibility and to make it easier to move capacities between individual factories. For this reason, Schmid’s automation experts supplied the customer with a combination of fully-automatic assembly stations and sections of plant to be operated manually. These included highly-flexible screwing stations and also machines for the feeding and assembly of roller cam followers. In motors, these components convert the curvilinear movements which the cams exert on the camshaft to a linear movement which acts on the inlet and/or outlet valves and opens and closes these.

Schmid used the most up-to-date PC-based technology, so-called panel PCs, to control the assembly line. Panel PCs control not only the manufacturing process by means of a real-time capable PLC but at the same time they display all the processes for the operator. One single panel PC can control both complex automatic stations and multiple aggregated control units.

Enclosures from ROSE allow easy integration of the control electronics

For the past ten years, E. Schmid GmbH & Co. KG has been purchasing the enclosures for the panel PCs from ROSE Systemtechnik GmbH in Porta Westfalica. The company is one of the few suppliers on the market which can also carry out the equipping of the enclosures with the required electronics. For its assembly line, the automobile manufacturer used Commander SL3000 control enclosures which ROSE adapted to match the external dimensions of the Siemens industrial PC. “Among other work, we integrated installation openings for filter fans, various plug-in modules (Ethernet/ProfiNet, USB, socket) and screw-on surfaces for our GTK 80 flange coupling,” says Jochen Lindemann, the automotive key account manager at ROSE. “The coupling allows large-area flange fitting on the enclosure, is very smooth thanks to the ball bearing, and has an open cable duct which makes mounting the electronic components very much easier.“

Robust and easy to service

All the panel PCs on the assembly line were equipped with ROSE enclosures – both the automatic stations and the manual workplaces. In the latter, the Commander SL3000 contains the entire control system with all operating equipment such
as contactors, terminals, power packs, switches for Profinet and Ethernet interfaces and local peripheral control devices. The Commander is especially suitable for use at manual mounting stations because it is sturdily built and has an opening on the front through which the electronics can easily be serviced.

Ergonomic PC support effortless work

A compact industrial PC is also used at the manual stations on the assembly line and shows the worker which work steps are to be carried out next. To suspend this device, E. Schmid GmbH & Co. KG uses components of ROSE’s GTK electronic system, including inclination adapters, joints and couplings, aluminium profiles and angle pieces. The enclosure specialist’s suspension systems which Schmid uses to support the compact PC are very flexible, and in this way they ensure ergonomic mounting of the operating and information panel. This means that the operators can work for a long period of time without tiring.

In-house coating unit and test laboratory

As one of the few companies in this sector, ROSE Systemtechnik not only has a comprehensive manufacturing department but also has its own powder coating plant and a test laboratory. In this way, ROSE can not only offer every required enclosure colour but also, by carrying out extensive checks, guarantee the quality of its products. This is why, when it comes to industrial applications, the choice worldwide is increasingly for the tailor-made and individually-equipped enclosures from Porta Westfalica in Westphalia.