MechDes was asked by its client to think about a new design for trailer production in order to be able to produce cost-efficiently and to compete with low-wage countries.
Previously, every trailer frame had a specific welding jig. The frames were bonded into these welding jigs. A welding robot was then positioned above the welding jig to further weld the frame. When the robot was ready, the welded frame could be removed and new parts placed back in the welding jig and bonded. All activities took place at one location, making this location a logistical bottleneck. In addition, a separate welding jig was needed for each frame, which had to be set up again at the welding robot from storage.
MechDes redesigned the frame so that it can be mounted with lasered slots and pins – but without a welding template. We also designed a universal product carrier on wheels on which any frame can be built by means of a simple adjustment. This can be done anywhere in the assembly hall. The product carriers are then coupled to the frame and automatically welded by a robot in a welding portal. The train of coupled product carriers is then transported with a forklift to a room, where they are preserved. In terms of time and location, this welding activity is completely decoupled from the pre- and post-processing operations. No more welding jigs are needed for the trailer frames.