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Automation in the Automotive Industry: Robots Are Changing the Game

Robotic Assembly Systems Offer Incredible Manufacturing Automation Solutions for the Automotive Industry

Yellow industrial robots in an automotive parts assembly cell.Automation is rapidly changing the automotive industry, making it more cost-effective and productive for car manufacturers to meet demand than ever before.

The speed and quality demanded by industrial production is not something human workers can achieve alone. To this end, many assembly equipment manufacturers now offer car assembly line robots to support automotive companies.

How is automation changing the manufacturing process for the auto industry? Find out how these advanced technologies are making it possible for assembly plants to meet demand and cut costs.

Modern Solutions for Vehicle Manufacturers

The automotive industry has always been at the forefront of automation in manufacturing. Countries with strong automotive sectors are moving towards fully automated automotive assembly lines at staggering rates.

Industrial robots and collaborative robots, also called cobots, make both fully automated and semi-automated manufacturing solutions not only possible, but a smart investment for modern vehicle manufacturers.

These robots make trends like Tesla’s ‘lights-out’ factory look increasingly feasible. But what is it about the vehicle industry that makes it so ripe for automated automotive assembly lines systems, and how do these robotic automation systems work?

Where Industrial Assembly Meets Powerful Automation

A vehicle can contain up to 30,000 individual parts. While these aren’t all assembled in one place, that figure gives a sense of the sheer scale of the work required.

CNC automation for automotive bulk part handling cell

Between power trains, transmissions, and structural components, carmakers have extensive automotive component manufacturing needs. As a result, they require a massive range of manufacturing processes and connection methods to bring a new vehicle to completion.

Luckily, robotic automation in the automotive industry is particularly effective at making vehicles. Pieces move consistently and regularly through the plant, meaning most tasks do not need a human operator, and can in fact be performed better by a machine.

Additionally, industrial robots are now capable of diverse high-level assembly tasks, complete with in-line and on-machine metrology, to make process control seamless.

Automotive Fastening Systems

Torque Systems

Proper torque is vital when creating a safe vehicle. Car manufacturers have dozens of different demands, both in size and precision.

From high-torque, wide-tolerance lug nuts to the precision of attaching an air compressor to an engine block, humans have historically installed torque systems due to the delicacy required and the high cost of failure. However, new advancements allow assembly equipment manufacturers to implement carefully calibrated torque systems.

This new capacity for process control comes in the form of both in-line and on-machine metrology. On top of offering both blow-fed and track-fed torque systems, RōBEX machines have integrated torque and angle monitoring, protecting against dangerous errors that could result in a recall.

Such torque stations include customizable torque sequences for an even preload distribution. Finally, post-torque inspection acts as a final safeguard against sub-par components ending up in a vehicle.

Automotive Assembly Line Press Systems

Press-fit technology is an essential aspect of automotive component manufacturing, specifically for electrical and mechanical connections where temperature fluctuations, shock, vibrations, and contaminants are a major concern. Manufacturers can even use it to create a simultaneous electrical and mechanical connection in a single process step.

However, it requires the right tools to complete, and that’s where industrial robots come in. These machines can utilize servo, hydraulic, air-over-oil, or pneumatic press systems to integrate the best system for a given application.

Naturally, a solid connection means proper force applied correctly, and integrated metrology answers those needs. RōBEX’s force/stroke monitoring allows manufacturers to track the press curves’ output function, creating detailed data for the process. Finally, the in-line post-press inspection verifies the quality, minimizing the need for operator input.

Glue and RTV Dispensing

Windows and windshields require delicately applied adhesive to sit firmly and securely in a vehicle. RōBEX offers comprehensive RTV dispensing systems to meet this need, utilizing servo or robot-assisted applications with minimal human intervention. Application systems include internal monitoring systems and advanced 3D visual inspection capabilities to check bead quality.

Rivet Systems

Blind rivets are popular in the automotive industry for assembling structural elements such as the chassis, door hinges, seat structures, and other vehicle parts. These processes require precision paired with high force to ensure a secure connection every time. A robot assembly line uses blow-fed in-line riveting to provide unmatched line speed and eliminate the downtime to reload.

Download Our eBook on EV Manufacturing

Are you ready to revolutionize your manufacturing assembly process and increase production efficiency with our custom robotics? To learn about the detailed RōBEX integration process and our vast array of technologies supporting automation in the automotive industry, download our eBook on electric vehicle battery manufacturing!


    Brandon White

  • DATE

    January 26, 2024

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