In body shops, sheet metal parts from the press shop are assembled into the car body. In this process, the components are usually classified as underbody, frame or outer body parts. First, the individual frame elements for entire components such as doors, side panels or the roof are attached by welding or bonding. These processes require extremely high positioning accuracy. After body shop, the body is transported to the paint shop. For this reason, marks or even minimal damage to the surface that could prevent the paint from sticking or cause a visible flaw must be avoided.
Most body shop processes are fully automated. Vacuum technology is primarily used in complex gripper systems where mechanical grippers would be too heavy or too inflexible, or could cause damage. This applies to work on outer body parts (class-A parts) such as doors, roofs, trunks or hoods, etc. Suction cups act as an interface to the workpiece, and, in combination with the vacuum generators, ensure safe, stable handling.
Ergonomic handling solutions from Schmalz is used in processes, where worpieces have to be moved manually. The vacuum lifters for example are used at the quality insurance, in emergency procedures or for manual feeding in of parts.
Welding releases ozone, which can make elastomer parts porous and brittle. Schmalz developed a suction cup material for suction cups from Schmalz that increases the service life considerably as compared to conventional suction cups, which in turn minimizes maintenance work.
Maximum energy efficiency
Longer handling and holding times required by joining processes significantly increase the vacuum generator’s compressed air consumption. Schmalz has developed central and decentralized vacuum systems equipped with an automatic air-saving function especially for use in body shop. Even in emergency stop situations, the vacuum generator remains in operation to ensure safe processes.
Safety and transparent processes
Innovative vacuum generators offer the option of permanently monitoring the vacuum system. This allows operators to avoid unexpected downtime and ensure process reliability. Using IO-Link technology, Schmalz also offers the option of integrating the vacuum generators SCPi/SMPi into the fieldbus level, making processes even more transparent while allowing remote maintenance and parameterization.