Inca Geometric develops semi-automatic assembly process

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Inca Geometric has developed a semi-automatic assembly process for a leading transmission specialist to accommodate four types of planet hub carrier and axle assembly.

Managing director Mike Cain says: "Having submitted and had the process accepted using a two-stage hydraulic press-based assembly system we are now manufacturing and building the rig at our Chartham facility." The process involves a series of components including a wheel bearing carrier, planet hub carrier, axle arm and stud carrier which also includes shafts, gears, seals and the securing of components using a dozen 16 mm studs. The project also includes a tooling table able to accommodate the four types of assembly. The two-stage inline process involves a marshalling area where the main heavier parts are loaded by crane to a shuttle table. This feeds directly into the assembly zone where two 22 tonne cylinders are sited above and below the shuttle table. As the parts are put together the cylinders are used to press and secure the various parts into position with the top cylinder also used to maintain location position of the assembly while parts are pressed into place from below using the lower cylinder. Each hydraulic cylinder will have a quick-change tooling interface to accommodate the range of assemblies. Following assembly Inca is incorporating a laser checking device to ensure cones, caps, bearings and seals are properly located.