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Concatenation with assembly automation

It takes considerable research for automation engineers to find the right automation system for a car manufacturer.

Countless factors influence the assembly of a transfer system and a lot of hurdles have to be overcome Michael Frieß, Technical Director at Erhardt+Abt Automatisierungstechnik tells in the following report.

Today, interlinking of machines with robotic automation is used to a significant extent for large-scale production. In addition to the optimal use of machine capacity, processing with maximum possible variants is also gaining more and more importance.

Erhardt+Abt Automatisierungstechnik GmbH has been providing turnkey automation solutions in diverse industrial sectors for nearly 20 years. As part of the HEITEC group of companies it has a widespread network of engineers and technicians in the fields of electrical engineering, computer science and mechatronics. Erhardt+Abt has created a name for itself, particularly in the automotive and pharmaceutical industries.

As experts in automation, it is extremely important for Erhardt+Abt that all of the components of a system match perfectly and are easy to integrate. As technical director, Michael Frieß is also responsible for the smooth functioning of a chain of machines. “It is ideal if the individual components directly meet the required specifications”.

As an example, here is a case of a large project for one of the leading German car manufacturers: A transfer system was required for a machining system with minimum spread of swarf and washing machine residues. Environmental conditions in parts of the plant are quite challenging for materials and surfaces. In addition to the requirements of the materials, even the specific requirements governing operating equipment had to be fulfilled.

For Erhardt+Abt merely meeting technical requirements is not all: “It is also important that we cooperate well with our suppliers and we work hand in hand in the project planning phase. We can thus assure our customers that the systems we produce meet the highest quality standards”.

There were certain conditions that both the conveyor system as well as the manufacturer had to comply with. Erhardt + Abt invited bids from several suppliers. However, the technical solutions they offered, were complex and their implementation would have involved heavy expenditure.

With a few smaller jobs that were executed in the past, Erhardt+Abt already had a good experience of the conveyor technology supplied by the mk Technology Group. Michael Frieß turned to his customer advisor who finally recommended to him the right system. “We finally found the right partner in mk”.

The systems belonging to mk’s Versamove series are versatile circulating workpiece carrier systems that can be used in practically all areas involving automation and flow of materials. Whatever the application may be, the right system is always available, thanks to the three standardized versions namely standard, plus and ultra. The modular design of the systems ensures quick and transparent project planning and designing.

Despite their high degree of standardization, the Versamove systems are extremely flexible: Due to the demanding environmental conditions to which the system is exposed, a special and particularly resistant workpiece carrier was necessary. “That was not at all a problem with mk”, says Michael Frieß. Engineers at Erhardt+Abt and mk working on this project have jointly developed a workpiece carrier tailored to meet the requirements of this system

mk could easily implement even the car manufacturer’s regulations that govern the operating equipment. mk has already designed some systems for the automotive industry and experts are fully aware of the requirements for these systems. They have adjusted the individual components for the project so that the requirements are fulfilled. “That was one of the main reasons behind deciding in favour of the mk system”, says Michael Frieß. This simplifies integration into the entire project.

mk assisted during the entire project right from the joint preliminary discussions with Erhardt+Abt and its customers through to installation and commissioning in the plant itself. During ongoing operations, the system meets absolutely all our expectations”, says Michael Frieß. Even the project managers of the car manufacturers are extremely satisfied with the way the entire project has been executed.

After commissioning even mk continues to be a vital point of contact for Erhardt+Abt: “The colleagues have given us an excellent after-sales service. Adjustments to the system were implemented quickly and easily”.

Generally speaking, the credit for the success of the project goes to the excellent team work of all those who were involved in the project. mk has made a very substantial contribution to the entire project. Michael Frieß is excited to see the human cooperation: “We felt very well cared for at all times”.

There was good reason for Michael Frieß to rely on mk as a partner for installation of additional systems: After the success of the first project, a second plant is now in operation. “The price of the system is good, the cooperation was excellent and everything was entirely to our expectations. So why should we change?”

The cooperation with mk was a real success story for Erhardt+Abt – A third large facility is currently being built for the car manufacturer. Michael Frieß is still impressed: “Our customer is satisfied. We are also a very satisfied customer and we will definitely contact mk for further projects too”.

mk Profile Systems

With over 10 years experience, mk Profile Systems is a leading supplier of aluminium profile based modular components used in automation systems, machine building & systems integration.

With over 10 years experience, mk Profile Systems is a leading supplier of aluminium profile based modular components used in automation systems, machine building & systems integration.

Our four main business areas are Profile Technology, Conveyor Technology, Linear Motion and Factory Equipment.

Our comprehensive range of over 250 Aluminium Profiles includes 25, 40, 50 & 60mm series profiles, all made from high-quality alloys.  We have various connecting methods as well as accessories and standard parts.  This provides organised functionality for modern machine building.

mk’s 24 Conveying Systems are fully compatible with the aluminium profile system. They include conveyor modules such as flat-belt, twin-belt, timing belt, chain, flat top chain and roller for automation purposes.

Our conveyor technology offers you simplified planning and design due to our standardised modules.  We offer high flexibility in system and plant building and modification due to compatibility with all mk systems.

We can provide factory equipment in the form of guarding systems, gangways, stairs, platforms and work stations for the office, shop floor, assembly hall or any other area where required.

mk’s Linear Motion range includes slide rails, rollers and fully assembled modules for materials handling applications with high levels of accuracy and repeatability.

Our key customers come from areas such as automation, robotics, system integration, factory machinery, OEMs and end users however there really are no limits for the use of mk’s aluminium profile system.
Many of our customers choose to have their designs assembled at the mk factory so the finished article is delivered directly to them, however we are just as happy to deliver a kit of parts to enable customers to assemble the goods themselves.  We will work with you to find the best way to meet your requirements, budget and time constraints.

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