The swift seat solution

The swift seat solution

March 2015

 

In India, Bosch Rexroth equipped automotive supplier Johnson Controls with a transfer system for seat assembly in an amazingly short time – and earned an award in the process.

India is one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. This is also benefiting the automotive industry, including suppliers like Johnson Controls. This conglomerate, active around the world, produces a wide range of components for cars, including vehicle seats. Johnson Controls was confronted with the challenge of more than doubling its seat output for one carmaker’s Indian production site – from 450 to 1,000 seats per day. This was beyond the capabilities of the existing seat assembly conveyor system. So Johnson Controls looked around for a higher-capacity solution – and one they could implement as rapidly as possible. “We had to design a complete system and have it ready on site in less than 60 days,” recalls Akshay Jain of Bosch Rexroth in India. The solution that he and his team colleague H. R. Aditya developed prevailed over the proposals of two big-name competitors.

Customized virtuoso

The Rexroth TS 2plus transfer system, which can be configured for a wide variety of fabrication tasks using a broad assortment of modular elements, made it possible to land this contract. For Johnson Controls, the Indian engineers designed a 22-meter long conveyor system with accumulation roller chains and workpiece holders 800 by 800 millimeters. These must be strong enough to withstand a total weight of 150 kilograms – the weight of a fully assembled seat. “In this solution, we not only used the standard components from our modular system; we customized some elements as well,” recounts Jain. For example, the device that clamps the seat to the holder was adapted and an energy-efficient lifting and lowering mechanism was implemented for the return conveyor. Additionally, the engineers from Bosch Rexroth in India designed the system to align with ergonomic principles and took into account the experience of production employees. “A further challenge was that we had to integrate third-party components in our system,” notes Aditya. In the end, Johnson Controls had a turnkey conveyor – car seat production could commence without any further adaptation.

Award-winning performance

Johnson Controls was so impressed with the rapid and reliable execution of this project that it recognized Bosch Rexroth in India with its Supplier Award for superlative quality and customer satisfaction. After-sales service also played an important role here: “Even when problems arose at night, we dispatched a service engineer within one hour, and he got the transfer system back up and running,” reports Jain. This cooperation has spawned further projects.