The electrical automobile (EV) revolution features extra momentum daily, driving change to automotive manufacturing in unprecedented methods. With quickly rising demand comes the necessity to quickly scale meeting operations — and that may create important challenges.
Car producers continuously search new, extra productive automation applied sciences to spice up their high quality and productiveness. Together with many frequent meeting workflows, they face new challenges related to scaling up battery pack and e-axle manufacturing. They want automation options to assist combine electrical battery and powertrain manufacturing seamlessly into total meeting processes.
Bosch Rexroth has an industry-leading portfolio of automation know-how to fulfill these wants, with many years of expertise offering manufacturing and automation options to main automotive OEMs, in addition to Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers.
Broad vary of meeting challenges
Electrical autos have changed engines, fuel tanks and transmissions with electrical motors, regenerative braking know-how and superior battery packs. Assembling these new parts presents distinctive challenges; on the identical time, there are meeting processes frequent to each EV and inside combustion (IC) automobile meeting traces.
For instance, EVs have physique components which might be welded utilizing high-speed six-axis robots with superior welding controls. Extraordinarily exact management of weld high quality is vital to the long-term efficiency of the automobile; poor welds can result in separation and vibration in physique components over time.
To resolve these advanced welding challenges with most pace and absolute high quality management, Bosch Rexroth has launched the PRC7000 welding controller platform.
The PRC7000 expands the variety of warmth blocks out there, so plant operations can customise welding to particular throughput and materials traits — a serious benefit over older-generation methods. Additionally, it could actually retailer as much as 10,000 welding applications that may be simply constructed through a drag-and-drop interface to include extra subtle welding sequences.
Bettering handbook meeting
Despite the fact that EV crops are extremely automated, in addition they use the newest handbook meeting strategies to put in a variety of parts and methods. Assemblers set up headlights, windshields, retractable sunroofs, seats and door and window controls, typically additionally connecting them to the automobile’s management module. Actual precision on this course of is vital to ship autos that function as flawlessly as attainable.
Bosch Rexroth affords a sophisticated portfolio of clever tightening instruments to supply the productiveness and high quality management wanted for these handbook processes. They supply the exact, repeatable efficiency essential to high-volume meeting traces. The portfolio contains the EXACT ION collection of cordless screwdrivers, providing industry-leading accuracy, sturdiness and vitality effectivity, in addition to ergonomic design and decrease weight to reinforce employee consolation.
Wider use of those sorts of i4.0-ready instruments helps meeting traces improve throughput and function with larger flexibility as totally different automobile fashions transfer by means of the road, whereas on the identical time producing vital knowledge that plant operators can use to enhance coaching, modify workflows and apply lean manufacturing rules.
A number of applied sciences to spice up battery pack manufacturing
There are 4 main steps in battery pack manufacturing frequent to most operations: electrode manufacturing, cell meeting, module meeting and pack development, which additionally usually contains end-of-line battery testing.
Every stage makes use of a posh array of automation applied sciences to go from uncooked supplies to accomplished packs. Given the vital position of the battery within the long-term efficiency and worth of EVs, battery manufacturing requires excessive throughput charges mixed with extraordinarily tight meeting tolerances and high quality management methods.
In electrode manufacturing, uncooked supplies transfer by means of a number of automated processing steps. Maximizing management over these processes requires applied sciences that guarantee cells are created with desired electrochemical properties, lifecycle and vitality density.
Bosch Rexroth’s ctrlX AUTOMATION platform options superior controller and drive methods designed exactly for these high-throughput manufacturing processes. The ctrlX CORE controller supplies superior closed-loop sag and loop management to get rid of breakage and decrease waste. It additionally helps high-speed multi-axis synchronization for internet pace and place alignment.
In cell manufacturing, particular person batteries — cylindrical, pouch or different format — are mixed into cells. Many producers are working to optimize the stacking course of on this step as a result of streamlining stacking can enhance the throughput of your entire line.
Excessive-speed robotic dealing with methods, both delta robots or linear robots, are important instruments on this stacking course of. The Good Operate Equipment for Dealing with is a extremely environment friendly linear robotic possibility well-suited to this course of step. It’s really plug-and-produce: trendy on-line instruments assist fast and intuitive part choice and configuration, and the pre-installed software program permits for simpler commissioning, supporting quicker manufacturing begin and serving to pace to market.
Modular motion and transport options
Going from uncooked supplies to a examined and put in battery pack presents a serious automation transport problem. With every meeting step, weight and part dimension will increase, so a spread of fabric transport conveyors and different methods is critical.
From switch methods for quickly shifting merchandise weighing just a few grams to linear motor-driven methods that may exactly transport as much as over 400 kg, state-of-the-art conveyors and linear motor transport methods maximize environment friendly use of manufacturing facility flooring area and allow easily flowing, intelligently linked manufacturing.
VarioFlow plus plastic chain conveyors are confirmed methods that quickly transfer cell assemblies horizontally, vertically, round obstacles or built-in with different course of flows. These additionally assist workpiece pallets to convey cell parts the place positioning or larger stopping precision is required.
Additional down the road, Bosch Rexroth affords the linear motor-based Versatile Transport System (FTS). It helps pallet-based transport and permits for particular person service management for extra advanced motion at quicker throughput charges. Mixed with our intralogistics autonomous cell robots (AMRs), Bosch Rexroth is uniquely outfitted to handle nearly each battery manufacturing transport problem.
Profitable meeting traces design conveyor and materials transport options early within the improvement course of, not as a ultimate step as soon as all of the manufacturing machines and cells have been outlined. This helps guarantee productive motion of merchandise and supplies by means of each course of step and prevents constructing in non-value-added transport time. Bosch Rexroth has deep expertise serving to choose and join totally different transport methods so the correct materials movement is established — and will be simply modified as manufacturing necessities evolve.
Automation perception to enhance EV meeting productiveness
As EV producers are underneath strain to broaden manufacturing, they run dangers by merely throwing know-how at their throughput challenges, quite than contemplating how nicely their know-how and part decisions work collectively. All this meeting know-how ought to be engineered and harmonized to maximise throughput with out sacrificing the standard of the tip product.
Bosch Rexroth can leverage its industry-leading automation portfolio and deep automotive manufacturing experience to assist forestall this threat. We’ve productive partnerships with main manufacturing facility automation specialists. They work with our skilled automation know-how consultants, following a novel, concurrent engineering strategy.
Utilizing this strategy, we accomplice to conduct system design, programming and part acquisition and integration in tight, overlapping time frames to deploy full automation options extra quickly.
Our options embody nearly each main step in EV manufacturing, with specialised experience in EV battery pack manufacturing. Our concurrent engineering methodology succeeds as a result of we again it, and all our full automation options, with world engineering, service and technical assist assets.