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Sonopod – ALF

Sonopod – ALF

Sonopod – ALF

THE CLIENT’S CHALLENGE

A major northern 1st tier automotive suppliers approached Mechatronic Solutions to solve two challenges:

To make a reliable series of joints to ultrasonically attach 2 structural mounting brackets to a finisher moulding

  • To check presence and position the two loose brackets with minimal moulded location to ensure accurate fitting to the body-in-white

The customer, who is familiar with Mechatronics reputation for robust solutions, have invested in production equipment to satisfy increased demand for their products as well as improving quality. The planned payback will be within two years.

THE CLIENT’S SPECIFIC NEEDS

To reliably join 2 external trim moulding assemblies for a new Land Rover model, without any marking to the A surface and still maintain a pull off strength of over 150N

  • Welding 3 components together per assembly to tight tolerances without debris in the B surface
  • To develop Energy Director features in the mould tool for a discreet ultrasonic weld joint
  • Processing a left and right hand assembly simultaneously (One car set)

THE MECHATRONIC SOLUTION

Mechatronic selected an existing Sonopod with a stretched base which is available off-the -shelf as a standard design to accommodate the length of the part

The engineers at Mechatronic used their in-depth ultrasonic knowledge to work with the customers designers to provider energy director features on the mouldings to facilitate the weld during the joining process

The weld points were quickly and easily positioned from the CAD data and integrated onto the existing bolster carriage,

3D contoured sonotrodes were manufactured in titanium to match the contact on the moulding.

After detailed consideration of the project requirements the Mechatronic engineers agreed their detailed design with the customer before cutting metal.

Using Mechatronics in-house built switching box the whole machine is supplied by just 2off 35 kHz ultrasonic generators, this maintains process within cycle time and economy with space saving.

This solution has;-

  • Given repeatable results
  • saved Capital in multiple machines
  • saved valuable Floor space

The machine operator loads the parts manually into CAD cut polyeurothane material nests, these were carefully designed to avoid marking on the A surface, the machine can process both left and right hand mouldings simultaneously, an air assist manual clamp is used to locate the brackets accurately in position during welding

On initiation by the operator the horizontal acoustic doors close, then the assembly shuttles automatically under the processing head. The welding heads all lower together on a pneumatically driven bolster, two 35kHz ultrasonic generators sequence through each head to produce a 18 separate weld areas

If any parts are sensed to be missing or to have failed a warning is provided on the HMI and a key reset can be applied to release or rework the failed components

Each head is individually controllable in force, amplitude and time parameters set the machine to give even welding along the moulding

As the assemblies are particularly visible on the car it is essential to produce aesthetically perfect part every time.

THE RESULTS:

The machine provides multi process functions with ease-of-loading for the operator and simple maintenance. Mechatronic’s flexible solution has given their customer the ability to weld many styles of moulding on a re-toolable machine which can be easily adapted for future. The machine was delivered on time to a fixed price with straightforward plug and play installation

Skills

Posted on

21st April 2017