Welding and Assembly Sensors

FAW Volkswagen relies on Uprox+ sensors for precise, reliable welding and assembly processes at its automobile production lines in China

The demands placed on the automated production lines of vehicle manufacturers are always on the rise. Purchasers want exclusive, high quality, and individually tailored solutions. New materials, production technologies, and levels of automation require automation solutions to be constantly updated. For welding and assembly processes in its Chinese production plants, FAW-VW found a versatile and reliable solution in the Uprox+ sensors from Turck.

  • Turck’s ferrite-coreless uprox+ sensors have the same high switching distance on all metals

  • Even welding processes have nothing on the uprox+ sensors mounted on the robot arm

In order to ensure the efficient production of high quality automobiles like VW’s new Sagitar or the Magotan vehicle lines, FAW-VW Automobile Co., Ltd. – a joint venture between the Chinese government-owned First Automotive Works, Germany’s Volkswagen AG, Audi AG and Volks­wagen Automobile (China) Investment Co., Ltd. – relies on sensor technology from Turck.

High demands placed on sensors

During the course of the rapid development in the Chinese automobile industry, customer demands have risen with regard to quality, functionality and efficiency. This has led FAW-VW – like all automobile manufacturers in the end – to use new materials and technologies in order to facilitate the flexible production of different vehicle types and models at one location. Equally high were the automobile manufacturer’s requirements with regard to the sensor technology used. In order to be able to detect workpiece positions in the various stages of automated production, such as stamping, painting, welding and final assembly, the sensors have to be robust, versatile, and cost-efficient – requirements that the Factor 1 sensors from the uprox+ product line fully meet.

Factor 1 on all metals

Thanks to multi-spule technology, the sensors designed to meet the IP68 protection class detect all metals without a reduction factor – regardless of whether it is iron, stainless steel, copper, aluminum or brass. Not only that, in comparison to conventional ferrite core sensors, uprox+ made it possible for FAW-VW to detect all metals used in the production lines with considerably higher switching distances up to 50 mm (FAW-VW uses the Ni50U-CK40 series) – thus offering high degrees of freedom for installation and area of application. A further advantage of the Factor 1 sensors that are sold by Turck (Tianjin) Sensor Co., Ltd. (TTS) in China is the fact that with the few sensor types that are suitable for many applications within the production line, the automobile manufacturer was able to set up simple and cost-efficient warehousing.

One of the hardest areas of application in the FAW-VW plants is welding assembly. In the overall production line, the individual parts of the various sedan models run through up to 5,000 spot welding steps. For monitoring the automated motion sequences, FAW-VW relies on the sensors from Turck’s MT series. Mounted on the robot arms, the special sensors coated with teflon continuously check the position of the robotics in relation to the workpieces. In welding assembly, not only high switching distances are required in order to be able to detect the position of the workpieces early on and, if necessary, correct them, but also excellent shielding against external environmental conditions. Because uprox+ sensors do not contain ferrite core, they are equally insensitive to strong magnetic fields, like those that develop during the welding process, as they are to flying sparks or mechanical wear.

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