Innovative noise test station maximises productivity for leading automotive OEM
Northern Ireland-based company uses Dark Red Design to streamline its engineering process and fuel expansion
To succeed in the automotive industry, companies and suppliers have to function as efficiently as possible and work within the very narrowest of tolerances. Their manufacturing processes need to be as finely tuned as the products they’re making.
Our client was looking to solve a serious bottleneck they had identified in their production line that was costing the operation time and money and inhibiting expansion plans. With consumer expectations growing ever more demanding in the sector, every aspect of the client’s wing mirror motor assemblies had to go through the most stringent quality control, including rigorous acoustic checks. Before Dark Red Design was brought onboard, these tests were being carried out manually.
The motors were examined by a production line operative, who would listen to the sound levels of each assembly and judge the quality by ear. The finite number of units each operator could process, as well as the subjective nature of the system, was stifling the company’s development.
Initially, we spent a considerable amount of time observing the client’s existing automated assembly line, including the workflow of the human sound quality testers, and researching how any new equipment could be integrated without disrupting production. We identified a number of challenges the successful design would need to overcome, most notably the background noise of the environment it would be working in, as well as the very high volume it would need to process.
The overall footprint and physical size of the test station were also key factors that played a major part in the design process. With a comprehensive amount of information gathered, we were able to go ahead and generate multiple concepts that met the goals of the brief and worked closely with the client to choose the most appropriate option.
We used CAD-integrated SolidWorks Simulation software to render photorealistic visuals and validate the design, and performed Finite Element Analysis (FEA) to optimise the performance of the machine before engineering began on the final product.
A Structured, Results-Driven Process
With 20+ years experience supplying ground-breaking products to the industrial sector, our structured process brings together research, design, engineering and manufacturing teams to work concurrently on every project. This approach means a quicker and more efficient journey from concept to construction, with each discipline contributing their talents at every stage, identifying potential risks and obstacles to be overcome before they occur.
We know how high the expectations are on all our products; their functionality, safety and reliability, and so we build in comprehensive testing of each component at each step and each iteration. Our systematic methodology, along with our range of in-house skills and comprehensive knowledge of the many and varied industry regulations, gives us the ability to take on projects of any size. Unlike many of our competitors, we are able to handle larger-scale product design.
Read about one of our larger format ventures here.