Evana Automation Specialists, systems Integrator and builder of assembly and test systems, recently received a contract to design and build "a turnkey assembly system for a major manufacturer of commercial vehicle systems". This customised system will, the supplier said, improve quality and process time for assembling and testing driver control modules (DCMs) and can be adapted easily for future DCMs.

The assembly process will begin when an automated guided vehicle (AGV) tows a fixture/kit cart into a supermarket area that stores many of the components that make up a completed module. Large components are stored in dunnage at each assembly station. A manufacturing execution system (MES) will provide the build components list to area monitors to let an operator know what components need to be loaded onto the fixture/kit cart. As the components are loaded, they are scanned to confirm the correct quantity and model. The cart is also scanned. This process validates the kitted components and links them to the ID of the cart. When the MES system is satisfied that the cart is loaded correctly, a move command is sent to the AGV. The AGV will tow the cart into the first of eight assembly stations. Each assembly station will have a monitor that displays each step of the build procedure to the operator. When the tasks at the first assembly station are complete, the AGV moves to the second assembly station, where the build process continues. Some of the stations will have pressing functions, where force and distance are captured. Other stations will include screw driving and harness assembly.

When the AGV leaves the last assembly station, it tows the fixture/kit cart to one of two test stands. The AGV will automatically dock with the test stand. The operator will connect all air and electrical connections and initiate the test cycle. The DCM will be tested according to the test criteria instructions received from the MES system. Once the test cycle is complete, the DCM will be stamped with a pass indicator. Failed assemblies will be reworked by the operator and retested.

The assembly system is scheduled for May 2016 delivery.