Case Study 006 - Daimler Chrysler

Daimler Chrysler required a system for retaining and collecting oils 'lost' during the manufacturing process.
DAIMLER CHRYSLER –I.T.P. through Ingersol/Cinetic was up-grading a transmission manufacturing line to include multi-station assembly and "hot" testing of transmissions. The overall manufacturing process required a means for retaining and collecting oils which would otherwise be lost to the manufacturing process. It was also essential that any final oils retained within the lower transmission carrier pallets be removed prior to the pallet and transmission assembly passing through the final stage washer before shipment to the final car assembly facilities. In an effort to "quantify" the performance of the system, a standard for collection was established as part of the performance criteria. Process cycle was set at 24 seconds part to part and residual oils left on the pallet were to be no more than 45 grams per pallet.
The cost of transmission oils provides a considerable expense to the plant. A cost savings could be generated with the recovery of these oils for re-use. In addition, oils which spill onto work area floors mandate the use of non-skid type flooring which is expensive and likewise difficult to maintain. The final area where workers must have access to then requires additional house-keeping and also provides an area of exposure to workers who may be injured as a result of a fall attributed to the oils in the area. Finally, oils which are lost in the final stage washers require further waste-water treatment before the treated waters can be returned to the normal city water waste stream, also at an expense as well at a risk for non-compliance. Transmission manufacturing lines normally run at high production rates leaving very little time while the pallet is locked in-station for the collection of residual or draining oils. The residual oil collection standard of the entire pallet base would be difficult to achieve with a conventional approach as had been employed in the past. Pumps cannot cover the thin film build and wide area of oil coverage within the 18 second in-station cycle time available. Any automation being developed which carries the vacuum head into proper orientation likewise diminishes the functionally available vacuum cycle time. Dual station locations would be at a distance from the central vacuum generator thereby increasing the collection capacity and capability of the main system and controls.
TECH-TRANS had previously supplied a first vacuum oil recovery system to the I.T.P. facility and later, modified the original system to include two stations. The success of the initial system indicated that the residual oil requirement could be achieved with the TECH-TRANS process if a larger area of the pallet could be effected. The review of the pallet areas for mechanical access of the vacuum head mandated that moving "blow-off" assemblies would be required in order to meet the new cleanliness standards. The initial cast vacuum head design as employed elsewhere at I.T.P. was utilized and placed under an aluminum carrier plate. The upper area of this plate carries the slides and bearing supports as well as the adjustable air nozzle manifold used to direct the air flows for optimized oil collection. A newer, higher capacity main vacuum collection system as placed at the K.T.P. facility was used. The new system would have the additional capacity to collect oils from all both stations simultaneously. TECH-TRANS provided the vacuum collection system with an increased volume oil collection capabilities to meet these needs. In addition to the vacuum generation process, a controls development allowed that each station could operate independent of the others , or again, all at once. This station discrimination then optimized the oil collection rates at which ever station was "active". Our proprietary air flow and fluid separation process was further refined and incorporated in the internal design of the system and expanded the use of in-line filtration access and enhanced vapor separation capability. Within the system there is also an automated dump sequence which allows the vacuum generator to continue collecting oils while at the same time capable of discharging oils previously collected. This way, the vacuum collection process continues uninterrupted. TECH-TRANS also supplied this system and associated cast vacuum head along with the automated tooling slide assemblies. This system was tested for final approval, during which time the demonstrated oil collection standards were actually improved beyond those required by the specifications. Each head was prototyped and then cast as a final tool with mating flanges which allowed attachment as end of arm tooling to the automation provided at each station. "Bullet-Traps" were also provided at each station to collect the course debris typically found in this type environment.