Research Category: Bulk Material Handling
Researchers: Technifor Company|
Location: LEAMINGTON SPA, United Kingdom
To meet the noise level requirements for a new production line making silencers for DAIMLER heavy goods vehicles, the Eberspächer Company has selected the Technifor Company to apply a Datamatrix Code™ using a scratch marking system. Technifor is a worldwide supplier of automated marking and checking systems for identification and traceability. The marking machine can inscribe natural language markings and Datamatrix Codes™. This new product was recently added to the forty or so TECHNIFOR machines already in service on the EBERSPÄCHER site in Neunkirchen.
EBERSPÄCHER is a leading manufacturer in the field of exhaust gas technology. Its production range includes exhaust systems (catalytic converters, particle filters, and silencers) together with heating and preheating systems for all types of private vehicles, buses, lorries, off-road vehicles and boats. The Company has a staff of 5,800 in 16 countries worldwide, including 1,900 in Neunkirchen. The Neunkirchen site is specialized in catalytic converters for
lorries and commercial vehicles. TECHNIFOR equipment has been in service in the factory for several years, to mark products in natural language (texts and references) or using Datamatrix CodesTM. Over the last 10 years, about forty Technifor machines have been installed by the local integrator STROBEL UND BUNGERT. This Company makes assembly machines and automatic and manual marking units, almost always to specifications, for EBERSPÄCHER.
“It is part of my job to study the marking processes used by competitors”, said Mr HÜBSCHEN, the Innovative Production Processes Manager. “All the machine manufacturers announce incredible performance levels as to speed, but in fact,
either the claims are unjustified, or the quality leaves a lot to be desired. Technifor provides the best compromise between sturdiness, marking speed and quality. That’s why we were convinced by their idea of marking Datamatrices with
a scratch type machine”.
The new production line making silencers for heavy goods vehicles has been in service for several months. Each silencer has 7 catalytic particle filters, each made up of a filter as such (a honeycomb-shaped ceramic block) coated with heat insulation and a metal casing. The Technifor system is used to mark the metal
casings. They need to have natural language markings, and also a Datamatrix CodeTM. This provides full traceability for the parts and the sub-assemblies, to determine the responsibilities lying with the various subcontractors in the
event of a failure. When we remember that a single ceramic filter unit costs about 250 euros, we can better grasp the importance and the financial aspects linked to internal traceability.
The problem faced by EBERSPÄCHER was to avoid adding further noise nuisance in a building covering more than 5,000 sq. m and already full of noisy machines (drawing presses, assembly robots, etc.). The idea worked on by TECHNIFOR and STROBEL UND BUNGERT was to provide a single scratch type machine able to carry out the natural language and Datamatrix Code™marking work. Scratch marking has the advantage of being much quieter than needle marking. To mark a text, the point strikes the metal just once, and then it marks it through translation. Usually, to cut noise levels, it is necessary to use two machines: scratch marking for the text, and percussion for the Datamatrix Codes™. The difficulty here was to redevelop a guiding system for the marking tip and give it vertical
percussion movement to mark each point of the Datamatrix Code™. “We always work to specifications, so the ease of integration and the intelligence of TECHNIFOR machines are very important for us. In particular, that enables us to make special machines in short lead times. For example, the latest marking unit for
EBERSPÄCHER was delivered after just 4 months, including the time needed to develop the Datamatrix guidance system for the scratch marking machine”, said Mr BUNGERT, the Manager of STROBEL UND BUNGERT.
A specific Datamatrix kit was developed. It is used to control two different pressure levels with two pressure switches, one for letter marking and the other for the Datamatrix. It is made up of a pneumatic element, with tubes and
pressure switches, featuring just two air pipes and a connector that is fitted on the machine. The software element is piloted by the controller, and it is easily downloaded via a USB stick. Starting with a standard CN312Sr scratch
marking machine, all users have to do is add the kit directly to carry out Datamatrix Code™ marking work.