Reliable mass production
The production of eight million brake light switches annually is subject to its own set of laws. Key factors include output and process reliability. A pioneering plant with an efficient precision injection molding machine and two ultra-precise robots at its heart is mastering those jobs where cycle time is critical.
When a modern car manufacturer relies on just one provider for the mass production of a component, it amounts to both an honor and a responsibility for the chosen supplier. Body Control Systems (BCS), a subsidiary of worldwide automotive supplier TRW, is responsible for the production of eight million brake light switches annually for the Volkswagen Group.
Since June 2011, a plant developed by automation experts M.A.i. has been responsible for carrying out the task. An injection molding machine is at the heart of the cell. Four contact pins per brake light switch are molded using an eight-way machine tool. All loading and unloading operations must be completed in just 5.7 seconds during "tool-open time".
A masterpiece in automation
The production process begins with the feeding of two different-sized contacts via two stamping lines. A Stäubli SCARA TS60 first picks four short and then four long contacts from the appropriate transfer station on the stamping line and passes them to a buffer store. The ultra-fast and extremely precise SCARA machine copes beautifully with this job. Eight trips are necessary to completely fill the buffer with a total of 32 contacts.
This buffer sto