Constructing its new plant at Pesqueria near Monterrey, Kia needed an ergonomic supply of power for lineside applications and so turned once again to Conductix-Wampfler
The automotive industry is in permanent evolution, implementing new production technologies and systems to reach higher standards and production rates. Over the last decade, the global footprint of the major OEMs has also grown, establishing new facilities around the globe. All these plants run with the most advanced manufacturing systems, as customer expectations and production rate pressure are increasing.
For many years, Kia Motors has relied upon solutions from Conductix-Wampfler for mobile energy supply. This was again the case at Kia’s new plant near Monterrey, Mexico, where Conductix-Wampfler has been engaged as provider for two key applications.
In the general assembly, the lift tables of the 400m long skillet lines are powered with the contactless energy transmission system IPT (Inductive Power Transfer). In addition, ergonomic handling and the energy supply of handheld tools for bodywelding and final assembly is delivered by over 4,500m of BestaPower W5-traxX aluminium profile.
The plant at Pesqueria, Nuevo Leon, has been a huge success for Kia
Up and runningConstruction of the plant, located in the municipality of Pesqueria in the state of Nuevo Leon, has been a huge success for Kia and its parent company, the Hyundai Motor Group. The complete construction of the manufacturing complex took only 14 months, from breaking ground to production testing. Conductix-Wampfler worked jointly with Kia Pesqueria’s project team, having been handed the responsibility to complete the installation of the tool management systems in the assembly lines within five months, making it operational and ready to support the production team in achieving the goal of 1,600 daily units.
David Villegas, general assembly process manager at Kia Pesqueria, said: “Conductix-Wampfler W5-traxX and IPT systems are the best choice to support modern automotive manufacturing requirements, they are a reliable and excellent investment for any type of automotive industry facility.”
Ergonomic easeThe ergonomics of the assembly lines became a major concern during the engineering phase of Kia Pesqueria’s new production facility and was a challenge for the manufacturing engineers to overcome. The tool management systems must be inconspicuous and support the line operators in to reaching intended production output. Conductix-Wampfler provides a large variety of systems that can match different types of use and customer expectations.
In under five months, installation of the tool management systems at the assembly lines was completed, making it operational and ready to support the production team in achieving the goal of 1,600 daily units option
Based on core components of the product line BestaPower, customised solutions are put together. Flexible solutions can be created to provide the operators with all the equipment and tools they need within easy reach. Andon systems, worker instructions, lighting, power distribution and other functions are also integrated in the vicinity of the BestaPower aluminium profiles.
Dwindling downtimeAnother aspect covered during the early engineering phase was to evaluate the need for maintenance activities to keep equipment up and running. In relation with the investment volume, it is crucial to keep such a manufacturing facility at maximum productivity levels and eliminate any unexpected downtime by equipment malfunction. IPT is contactless and therefore wear-free inductive power transmission system that transfers electric power to any machinery or conveying system in motion.
At Kia Pesqueria, IPT has been implemented to provide power to the lift tables of the skillet lines. Over 400m of shallow pits have been equipped with the inductive power system, beneath the feet of the operators. The high reliability of this system allows the production lines to run for years without needing any type of replacement parts or maintenance. Kia Pesqueria’s decision to turn to Conductix-Wampfler was based on a long history of collaboration and experience collected by the engineers of the Hyundai Motor Group. This relationship started over a decade ago at Kia’s plant at Zilina, Slovakia, and has been reinforced during many international projects since then.
Systems overviewBestaPower W5-traxX: BestaPower systems are used to make compressed air, electrical power and digital data available primarily in assembly shops that use hand tools and in partly automated working processes. The systems also feature tool carriers and transporters to allow workstations to move to whichever point they are needed along the line.
W5-traxX is the automation solution with integrated compressed air line, sideways installed energy-guiding chain and optional position gauging system. It facilitates a huge set of accessories required within the production flow and manufacturing process. As mentioned, the same line can be equipped practically at any point with custom-dimensioned tool transporters, single equipment carriers, combined with a wide variety of accessories such as cable and hose reels, balancers and retractors, electrical and compressed air connections, maintenance units, pegboards, tool holsters and more.
Each tool transporter or equipment carrier can be moved up to 20m along the assembly line, back and forth, being constantly supplied with electrical power and compressed air. The tool transporters are equipped with high quality roller bearings and highly resistant rollers allowing a smooth and quiet movement along the assembly line.
IPT: IPT is a large-scale, contactless, power-transfer system which has revolutionised the way all kinds of moving machines may be supplied with electrical power. Based on the known principle of electromagnetic induction and developing it further to meet modern industrial needs, Conductix-Wampfler has achieved a technological breakthrough in the field of electrification. Due to the contactless transmission without any galvanic contacts, it is a safe and reliable system with no mechanical wear and tear. With no related maintenance, it is therefore an ideal fit for 24/7 availability requirement of today’s automotive manufacturing industry.