(2017/03/29)Evansville, IN Preh IMA Automation (PIA) Evansville, Inc., a global leader in automation system design and integration, announced today that the leading manufacturer of semi-trailers and liquid transportation systems in North America will accept delivery of a large-scale production machine for their refrigerated semi-truck trailers. The machine, which will be delivered in April, automates roof panel assembly by automating piercing, riveting, and crimping operations for roof panels ranging from 24’ to 53’ long and 96” to 102” wide.
Different lines of this manufacturer’s trailer roofs can be riveted, formed, and validated using this semi-automated production machine. The speed and flexibility of this technology was built to improve product quality, reduce cycle time, and control operational costs.
“The efficiency and durability of this trailer line is a matter of pride for their entire company,” said PIA Evansville President Randy Wire. “Our job is to help them continue their tradition of excellence in trailer manufacturing while controlling costs in a competitive market. We fully expect that this production machine will satisfy both of those goals.”
The semi-automated assembly process begins when an operator positions a semi-trailer into the assembly cell and places a roof panel into position. The operator then selects the correct trailer model from the operator interface HMI screen, and using this screen, positions the suspended system over the trailer. As the system is lowered into position servo mechanisms are used to make any vertical adjustments in the lower tooling carriage to accommodate the height of the trailer.
The operator presses a cycle start button to begin the automatic sequence. Two horizontal slides (one per side) advance to position the rivet punching heads into position. As the mechanism travels along the roof punching the holes, an operator manually places the rivets. A servo pressing system then sets the rivets in position.
The sequence of piercing the holes and setting the rivets will repeat automatically until the full length of the trailer is reached. As the carriage moves forward a rolling mechanism forms the roof crimp panel over the top rail, less the last two feet which is manually riveted and formed at the beginning of the process.
After the completion of the piercing, riveting and crimping operations the tooling will retract and return to its home position. The operator will manually engage a servo indexer to transfer the carriage assembly back to a home rest position.