A solution to “blow” you away
On order from a renowned customer from the automotive industry, PIA built another fully automated assembly line for airbag gas generators. Gas generators are needed to inflate an airbag in a controlled way using pyrotechnical material in the event of an accident. There are various types depending on the different locations (driver, passenger) and ignition stages (single, dual). The customer had been used to a low degree of automation in production as well as high flexibility. Due to the degree of development of the products and the variety of products, flexibility was then also the approach for the fully automated system.
The degree of difficulty of this assembly system can be measured by the impressive combination of many different processes and technologies under the aspect of a machine cycle time of 6 seconds per generator. These include mechanical joining processes such as pressing and gluing, laser and friction welding as well as a high number of quality assurance measures such as optical scanning and helium leakage tests. The challenge was to fill the pyrotechnical material in the right quantity and distribution, which was mastered with flying colors.
The system was developed in accordance with the globally applicable CE guidelines and taking into account explosion safety measures, which means that it can be used worldwide. Of course, this was another project in which PIA’s experience and preferred components played an important role, for instance the laser swivel table solution which offers user safety and gentle component handling at the same time.
With this, the production line is state-of-the-art and can produce many types of generators without laborious setup requirements. Siemens’ TIA software, which was used for this large-scale project by the Amberg team, also guarantees smooth performance. A line control solution for type management, logistics and traceability was also used and makes it possible to meet Industry 4.0 requirements.
Overall, it was a resounding success for PIA and set a trend in the areas of flexibility and internationality. Another plant is currently being installed in China, thus laying the cornerstone for the expansion of the business area Safety. This success also strengthened the bond between PIA and the new customer and has already led to further projects.
Falc Borchard (Key Account Manager, PIAAMB):
„Of course, this was another project in which PIA’s experience and preferred components played an important role, for instance the laser swivel table solution which offers user safety and gentle component handling at the same time“.