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f+h Intralogistics 4/2014

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f+h Intralogistics 4/2014

Material flow Rofa

Material flow Rofa provides Mercedes-Benz with a solution for diverse application profiles As the prime contractor, Rofa North America equipped the final assembly at the Mercedes-Benz Tuscaloosa (AL) plant with different conveyor technology systems. The conveyor technology manufacturer was responsible for planning, designing, producing, assembling and commissioning the systems. The goods transported along the conveyor technology range from painted vehicle shells and engines for series assembly to fully assembled vehicle shells in finish. A system of roller conveyors transfers painted vehicle shells on skids from neighboring systems to the Trim 0 system and hands them over at the other end using a further conveyor technology interface. The system is set up on multiple levels and features a transport conveyor, individual workstations, the main Trim 0 assembly line and a large buffer area for empty skids. The power unit assembly is executed in the form of a single-line electrified monorail system (EMS) with lifting carriers and a range of special, technical features. This system applies complex control technology and is suitable for various engines and transmissions including transfers to and from neighboring systems. In the finish area, the delivery scope is rounded off by two slat conveyors to transport vehicle shells in the “Shower + Shipping” areas. 28 f+h Intralogistics 4/2014

Material flow The systems and their individual structures Trim 0 Engine EMS Shower + Shipping 87 roller conveyors in different variants 280 m EMS KB240 rail 2 slat conveyors in zinc plated or stainless steel design 8 transverse chain conveyors in different 40 heavy-duty lifting carriers with chains variants 39 eccentric lifting tables 3 relocation points 2 skid lifters (length: 8 and 5 m) for 1 lowering rail different applications 1 skid stacker to stack six skids 1 maintenance station with diagnosis 1 workstation with safety equipment 2 slat conveyors for engines and transmissions 2 lateral skid skid discharge stations 2 crane systems with grippers to manually load supply conveyors Special designs for interfaces and handling equipment Accessories and safety equipment, such as protective fence, steps, accessible covers, safety doors, light arrays. Source: Rofa Systems engineering features of sub-projects Trim 0 consists of two sub-systems linked by the conveyor flow which are themselves divided into two PLC control circuits. In this process, Trim 0 is the interface for skids with vehicle shells coming from the paint shop to take them through the workstation line to the transfer station at Trim 1. The available lifters used to bridge heights have been fully overhauled and converted to Integra standard. The second section of Trim 0 is the transport conveyor for vehicle shell transfers to Trim 1 and also a buffer area for empty skids with an upstream skid stacker for six skids (Image 01). As was the case with lifters, the system operator insisted on reusing individual components of the available, disassembled conveyor technology. For this reason, the conveyor technology manufacturer was forced to adapt the design of DIN components to US standards. Tried and tested technology was used for roller conveyors. All roller conveyors are assembled one after the other without leaving gaps to create continuous conveyor flows 01 Skid stacker for six skids (Image 02). Kits were used to optimize the system and consequently minimize the number of adapters. An important part in implementing the engine line was to match up the required About Rofa For many decades, Rofa Industrial Automation Group has been among the leading suppliers of automation technology, conveyor technology, intralogistics and special-purpose engineering. The company implements industrial automation projects for customers around the globe from all sectors. However, traditionally Rofa is a renowned partner of the automotive industry. The corporate group bundles the innovative force and specialist expertise of specialized companies. A targeted, international set up allows the group of companies to fall back on a worldwide network with employees at thirteen locations. demands to technology and safety. However, it was most of all the necessary flexibility that lead to the decision to opt for a scissor-lifting carrier with high lifting heights and horizontal rails. In this process, the me- f+h Intralogistics 4/2014 29


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