• Valeo is an automotive supplier and
    partner to automakers worldwide.
  • As a technology company, Valeo designs
    innovative solutions for smart mobility,
    with a particular focus on intuitive
    driving and reducing CO2 emissions.
  • The Group also provides and distributes
    spare parts for automakers and
    independent aftermarket operators.
  • For more information, visit
    www. valeo.com
THE FAST TUBE LOADING SOLUTION
In automotive industry, efficiency matters all. In Valeo heat exchanger production line, the tube loading is an important part of the assembly. The speed and accuracy will be essential to success. There are several traditional tub loading styles, such as manual tube loading, tube tray magazine etc. Until recently, the tube loading part of the process was not fully automated. It involved at least 3 workers to load tubes into machines by hand at a certain speed, and this has to be constant without error.

When Valeo decided to fully automate the first stage of its production process for core assembly system, the production speed was targeted to speed up 10 percent and workers on shift removed.
OVERALL CHALLENGES
It was the first time for Valeo core assembly to leverage robotic applicaiton in tube loading process. This innovation can only be fulfilled with strong capability in production process design and robot application development. It must be customized for Valeo assembly and be accurately designed for usage to fulfill the requirement.
3V ROBOTIC SOLUTION FOR LOADING
3V Robotic application can replace manual brazing fixture loading and people out of labor movement with visual quality inspection system. With fully automated core assembly, 3V machines enable a decrease in labor cost and short changeover times, also increased energy efficiency.

3V robotic solution for core assembly is distinctive. Valeo requested offers from 3V and other suppliers. 3V’s winning offer proposed a ‘pick-and-place’ system that could handle 200 tubes per minute. The speed and accuracy problem were resolved by using the 6-axis functionality of ABB’s IRB 4600 robot. With its sharpest path accuracy and motion control, it picks the tubes and places them into machines at an angle efficiently and accurately. The solution will be fine-tuned after the initial trial.

Looking ahead, Valeo will use robots to automate other production processes, and 3V is ready to provide solutions on demand.
BENEFITS
  • Robot benefits Runs 20 hours
    per day in two shifts.
  • Dramatic increase in
    production speed.
  • The labor cost savings have
    been significant. Preceding 3
    workers can be replaced.
CUSTOMER TESTIMONY
The earlier production speed of 100 cores was determined by the manual tube loading process. The robotic solution gave us an immediate 10 percent boost, and after the fine-tuning we have the possibility to add an additional 15 percent. It contributes largely to improving the labor dependence.