The automotive industry demands robust products capable of surviving in the toughest conditions and manufacturing environments, including the body and assembly, body in white, stamping, and powertrain sectors.
With an unmatched range of reliable automation solutions – including sensors, industrial cordsets, distributed I/O products, and RFID – Turck is ready to tackle whatever automation challenges you are facing.
Digital production and logistics in the automotive sector require the availability of information on every single vehicle at any time. Identification number, current production area, body design, painting, engine and equipment must be accessible reliably and automatically.
Skid conveying systems are used in the automotive industry to transport workpieces and modules. The position of the skids must be reliably detected in order to control the downstream processes. Sensors with a 40 x 40 mm design are also preferred in transport and handling applications due to their easy handling and compact design.
Turck, for example, implements applications with UHF readers for bumper identification. UHF tags are stuck to the inside of the bumper at the supplier at the beginning of production.
With the current boom in the NEV (new energy vehicle) market, demand for lithium-ion batteries is rising. The level of automation in battery production has a direct impact on the quality of the batteries. Manufacturers use RFID technology to monitor production and to document quality tests.
Effective and long-lasting corrosion protection as well as attractive appearance of body parts and surfaces are achieved in the automotive industry by cathodic dip coating. The components are coated in an appropriately sized immersion bath by means of cathodic dip coating (CDP), also known as cataphoresis.
Relubrication with the right amount of lubricant suitable for the application at the right intervals is a prerequisite in industry for optimum machine performance and maximum service life. Automatic central lubrication systems supply several points via a single system, with the lubricant being conveyed, metered and distributed from a central tank via the control system.
When installing vehicle windshields, an adhesive robot with a dispensing head applies adhesive along the outer edge of a windshield. For optimum results, the correct consistency and quantity of the adhesive medium must be ensured at all times. The challenge is to keep the viscosity of the adhesive medium permanently in the optimum range
In blow molding machines, the platforms on which the workpiece is blown must be raised or lowered during product changes. Spindle drives are usually used for this purpose. However, temperature drift can cause deviations in the stroke of the spindles.
Vibrations have proven to be a reliable indicator of wear and imminent faults, especially for motors. Different frequency patterns provide information about anomalies such as imbalance or bearing damage.
On presses used for bodywork construction in the automotive industry, the sheet metal parts being processed are frequently moved in and out of the press by manipulators using vacuum grippers. To do this, the pressure of the vacuum grippers must be reliably monitored via pressure switches and other sensors, as people in the vicinity of the press would be at risk in the event of an undetected drop in pressure.
In the production of automotive cable harnesses, plastic components must first harden for a certain period of time before employees can feed them to further production steps. To ensure that the prescribed cooling times are adhered to, Turck offers an easy-to-install on-site solution. Tower lights provide information about the respective process status via the interaction of the RFID reader and the compact interface – and are not dependent on a higher-level controller for this.
Typical challenges in the networking of robot cells in car body construction are achieving short cycle times despite tool changes or transferring data from cameras so quickly that robots can be aligned and corrected during the running process. In addition, data traffic must be secure and the entire application must be maximally available.
The spot welding of automotive body parts sometimes produces high temperatures, which welding clamps must be protected against by means of adequate cooling. To ensure accurate and high quality welding, FS+ flow sensors perform two controls: They monitor the supply and return flow of the cooling medium and detect an imminent overheating of the clamps within the circuit at an early stage.
Automotive suppliers use industrial drum washers to remove adhesive substances, such as drilling emulsions, rust film or greases, from submersible constructions, mounting parts and small batch parts. For this purpose, they usually use acidic and alkaline degreasers or cleaning agents, which are fed into the washing process.
Whether in exhaust systems, pumps or compressors – motors of various sizes are used in production plants and warehouses, quite often in remote locations. Maintaining machines is therefore time-consuming and prone to errors, especially if maintenance personnel are only instructed to perform on-site inspections on an infrequent basis.
Monitoring cooling lubricants in CNC mills can be time-consuming. Although maintenance engineers can usually read off the levels on the machine, it is rare for the cooling lubricant levels for all pieces of apparatus to be visible in a central location in older plants.
To function properly, the large metal presses must always have the correct tools inserted. An automatic identification system using RFID prevents errors. Turck’s RFID system BL ident provides the required operating distances and high protection types, while Turck’s inductive proximity switches verify the correct positioning of the metal sheets in the press.
The solution is Turck’s unique welding nut sensor, which inductively detects the nut and affixes it simultaneously. The welding nut is placed on the sensor pin and welded to the reverse of the metal sheet by the welding head.
Turck offers high-resistance RFID systems for the reliable identification of skids in painting systems. The custom high-temperature data carriers are resistant to the aggressive chemicals in dip tanks, as well as to the high temperatures in drying ovens. Wide-range UHF systems are indicated where the data carriers are required to remain on the component.
Two aspects are particularly important in the final assembly via robot production lines: short cycling times and high availability. The block I/O modules by Turck offer that and more with their durability and quick startup times. In fast startup mode (Profinet), modules are ready for operation after just 150 milliseconds. In quick-connect mode (Ethernet/IP), they are even faster after just 90 milliseconds.
Sensors on the transport pallets or workpiece carriers can be easily connected to their respective processing stations via Turck inductive couplers. The couplers contactlessly transmit data and energy, while dynamic pairing allows the coupling of a primary part with multiple secondary parts.
In many production processes, especially in the automotive industry, the tag remains on the component from the start of the production process to logistics. UHF RFID is used for this due to the high ranges and the resulting flexibility.
To ensure precise and tool-friendly machining of workpieces, pressure sensors monitor the correct supply of cooling lubricants. The sensors are subject to regular impacts during operation, which can make it challenging for them to function reliably. Turck took these stresses into consideration when developing the PS+ product series and now offers the PS510 series of pressure sensors, which have a fully welded metal measuring cell and optional pressure peak aperture.
Pressure sensors monitor the hydraulic pressure in presses, in which steel and aluminum sheets are drawn, bent and punched. If an overpressure occurs due to a forming defect, this is detected immediately and reported to the controller.
Hydraulic scissor lifts for lifting and positioning heavy workpieces place demanding requirements on the pressure sensors of the hydraulic cylinders: Pressures of up to 400 bar can occur at the beginning of the lift. Turck’s robust pressure sensors of the PS+ series therefore also come with a metal measuring cell (PS510), offering an overpressure resistance of up to seven times the nominal pressure and ensures hermetic tightness even in the event of overload.