Car Door Lever Bowl Assembly

The work station is used to build and check for correct assembly of an automotive car door lever bowl unit to 100% accuracy.

Various parts are loaded by an operator and the machine checks colour, surface finish, correct speaker grille variant and that it is fully screwed together correctly. On completion a barcode label is generated for the next process.

Sensing is achieved with sophisticated colour and surface texture sensors plus a full vision system.

Introduction

Luxury car owners purchase their vehicles wanting to know that they are buying the very best. A supplier to a top British marque looked to L.A.C. Conveyors & Automation for help in developing a system that assembles door lever bowl configurations.

The client is a major Tier 1 supplier of automotive parts to globally recognised luxury vehicle manufacturers and supplies interiors to over 1/3 of all cars produced.

L.A.C. Conveyors & Automation have built a reputation for developing solutions and solving problems for a vast array of industries.

Requirement

After analysing costs and suitability it was found to be more effective to employ an operator to assemble the unit rather than fully automating the process. This led to the development of a human operated machine using state of the art sensing instrumentation that allowed for rapid building and checking of the correct assembly of a car door lever bowl unit.

Car door lever

Solution

A sequence of operations was developed utilising Bar Code Scanners, Vision Systems, an Operation Screen, a HMI Screen, Jigs and a Torque Screwdriver to guide an operator in the process of assembling the lever mechanism correctly.

When the part to be assembled is scanned the jig recognises whether it’s a front or rear door assembly and alters its configuration automatically for the correct fit. To ensure that the screws are located in the correct holes a cover is deployed to “hide” the ones not to be filled. Vision systems were employed to “check” the correct lock/unlock switch has been assembled and that the specific speaker grill variant has been used.

Car door level assembly diagram

A range of sensors have been utilised to check for correct assemblies and finishes including a separate colour sensor check that recognises if the final “finish” is precise for the model.

When all the checks come back OK as displayed on the monitor, the jig lock is released and a separate printer produces a bar code label for the part.

To ensure that the parts are not damaged during the operations the jig has been coated in polyurethane to 65 Shore Hardness.

Car door lever assembly operations jig

The machine can be height altered automatically with fine adjustments for different operator’s convenience and comfort.

Car door lever assembly system

The software used in the system has been designed to report into the customers own overall control mechanisms for total factory automation.

Features & benefits

  • Vision system guaranteeing correct part
  • Full high-resolution HMI screen with a status of all machine and sequence instructions allowing full instructions and operator feedback
  • Array of automated checking systems to ensure ‘no faults forward’
  • Electric height raising and lowering with memory settings for different operators for safe ergonomics and removal of potential health and safety claims against the company.
  • Fan for operator comfort.
  • Tooling designed to be altered for front and rear assemblies, offering future flexibility and minimal shopfloor space used
  • Correct torque on screws ensured with screwdriver counting level and number of turns achieved, thus detecting false peak torque due to cross threading
  • The tooling and controls can be adapted for any manufacturing changes – future cost advantage
  • Guaranteed quality and build details logged should the end customer come back and claim a damaged part has arrived on the main track.

Conclusion

Overall the system has ensured 100% quality product delivery and the success of this project has resulted in further significant subsequent orders being placed on LAC Conveyors & Automation.

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