D-Pillar Assembly Station

QM Systems was approached by a Tier 2 Automotive supplier, to provide a bespoke solution to insert various sized Rivnuts and Helicoils into a Left Hand and Right Hand D-pillar Casting.

A D-pillar is a vertical support located at the rear of a car, typically used in an estate for supporting the back roof and rear window of the vehicle.

We designed and manufactured a standalone assembly cell. A challenge was allowing the operator to access the different assembly planes for the locations of the Rivnuts and Helicoils in an ergonomic manner. We overcame this challenge by mounting our custom-designed Poka-yoke universal fixture to a multi-position servo drive, rotating the fixture in the x-axis.

A pre-programmed recipe is selected by the operator before locating a Left Hand or Right Hand part. The sensed manually operated clamps communicate to an Omron PLC, displaying an open or closed status on an Omron HMI. The various sized Rivnuts are inserted by two hand-held Bollhoff P2007 Rivnut guns paired with an EPK-C Hydraulic Pneumatic tool featuring full process control. Helicoils are inserted by a Bollhoff pneumatic PS412 Helicoil Insertion gun. Once the assembly is complete on the first plane, the operator stands clear of the light guard before pressing an interface button, informing the machine to rotate to the next plane.
This process is repeated for the next two operations but on the fourth and final operation, the component is inspected. The fixture is rotated in various planes, allowing Omron cameras to inspect for the presence of the Rivnuts and Helicoils. Once the inspection is complete, an image of the part displayed on the HMI provides a visual aid to the operator, indicating correct fitment of the Rivnuts and Helicoils. Providing the component passes inspection a Couth MC2000T² handheld Dot peen system is used to mark a 2D DataMatrix on the part.

This system features a biometric fingerprint scanner, enabling an operator to be identified to the component when using this machine, and thus providing our customer with full traceability of who assembled a particular batch of parts.