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Automation Technologies 2/2015

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Automation Technologies 2/2015

SENSORS AND MEASUREMENT

SENSORS AND MEASUREMENT From two comes one: sensors in a universal press for transmission cases Detlef Zienert To produce different products with a universal machine is always desirable in production. The special machine manufacturer NMH realized such a universal machine for automatic transmission specialists ZF Friedrichshafen. It enables the automotive supplier to change the products in production without refitting thanks to photoelectric sensors from Balluff. During the course of a strategy change, automobile supplier ZF Friedrichshafen AG planned to replace the conventional assembly line used for the production of automatic commercial vehicle transmissions in favor of a mixed assembly line. To be manufactured there at the same time were not only the previous AS Tronic 2 transmissions in both long and short variants, but also the new TraXon EL 40 generation of transmissions, likewise in a long and short version. Needed for this purpose was a universal press for pressing in the bearing shells, the bearing inner rings and pins and sleeves in mixed operation. The special machine manufacturer NMH Author: Dr. Detlef Zienert, Head of Press Relations Manager at Balluff in Neuhausen a.d.F., Germany

SENSORS AND MEASUREMENT next page GmbH + Co KG from Hohentengen, Germany, was awarded the contract to implement its design for a universal press. Optimizing space requirements and process time “What is revolutionary about our new solution is that we were able to replace the previously planned solution, which comprised two completely decoupled process stations, with a single press station,” says engineer Stephan Wahl, head of sales and marketing at NMH. “In other words, two presses had been planned: the first from above and then one from below for pressing the components into the case. Today we can perform this task sequentially and, for the first time, in mixed operation with a single system. What makes this special: during a product change, our press is able to convert itself completely automatically within one second even during the secondary process time.” BOS 23K light sensors with background suppression and BOSQ08M laser miniature sensors, both from the sensor specialists Balluff, reliably detect the currently inserted product and the correct assembly. The advantages of the new system design are apparent at the first glance: space requirements are nearly cut in half and the distances that the operator needs to walk during his work are also considerably shorter. The process time is just 15 seconds instead of 30. How the machine works One must imagine the workflows in the system as follows: the transmission case is placed on the roller belt infeed of the intake side. The worker manually fits the bearing pressing tool with two tapered roller bearings on the upper side and places the lower bearing shell and the two pins or sleeves in the 01 The universal press for the mixed assembly line in transmission production receivers provided on the lower side. He then inserts the work piece into the system until it engages: an inductive sensor on the locking blade with endposition damping signals the presence and correct position of the case. On the “upper level”, two BOS 23K light sensors with background suppression (HGA) monitor the presence of the left and right tapered roller bearing. A third sensor of the same type is responsible for detecting the case type and signals whether the case AUTOMATION TECHNOLOGIES 2/2015

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