Ultrasonic riveting: door panels for the Lamborghini

When it is not the cycle time that is important for producing door panels but rather the flexibility and cost of the machine, then two robot arms each with two interchangeable head tools can process one rivet pin after the other. Machines of this type are particularly profitable for products with many variants or for small batch runs.

Premium class cars are produced in considerably lower numbers than medium-sized cars. Consequently, the parts also do not have to be manufactured in rapid cycles or at the speed of the injection moulding process. The customer is fully satisfied with ten to twelve minutes for 55 to 60 rivets per door panel, because the customer is concerned with something else: he wants a production cell which can be easily converted to different variants or subsequently, to a follow-up model – and that for a good price. For such cases, robotic cells with integral interchangeable heads for different rivet geometries and replaceable component holder with swing frame are available.

The advantage of this innovative machine concept lies in the fact that other or new variants of the door panel can be produced relatively simply and without involving high subsequent costs by making modifications to the program and changing the welding and tool holders. This allows the customer to achieve great flexibility. SONOTRONIC has acquired the skill and know-how to program the ABB 6-axis- buckling arm robots itself, so that even short-term changes in rivet geometry in the component, present no problem.

The project was actually concerned with the four door panels for the new URUS Lamborghini SUV, in other words front and back, left and right. All four doors consist of several components, mouldings and a loudspeaker grille. For this, a completely enclosed cell with two ABB 6-axis buckling arm robots, four interchangeable ultrasonic tools and four component holders mounted on a swivelling frame with integral component scanner was produced to detect variants.

The operator selects from the program, which two doors are to be produced and the machine positions the swivel frame holder accordingly. He then puts the door panel components together in the workpiece holder and starts the machine. Using the program a robotic arm picks up an ultrasonic tool and approaches the corresponding riveting points. Once all the rivet pins have been processed with the one contour, the robot automatically changes to the next tool and approaches the remaining rivet pins. In each case there is one round and one square rivet tool for each side of the door. Each robotic arm processes only the door panel on its side, otherwise there would be collisions. A total of 20 minutes will have passed until both doors are ready and the operator can remove them again.

Compared with our conventional machines, which contain many ultrasonic units, in order to achieve a short cycle time by simultaneously riveting as many pins as possible, it is quite possible in this case to talk here of unhurried production – speaking of the machine – while the operator can certainly make optimum use of the time.

Effective: Nov 30, 2018

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