Osnabrück-based Bohnenkamp AG has commissioned a new, fully automated assembly machine for commercial vehicle tyres. The innovative machine was designed and manufactured in the last few years together with the development partner 3DEFACTO from Darmstadt. It enables the fully automatic mounting of commercial vehicle wheels in sizes from 20 to 52 inches without any set-up time. The result is an exceptionally high-performance wheel assembly that also offers a significant advantage in terms of quality, ergonomics and safety.
High precision and versatility in all sizes
In the future, the assembly line will be able to produce 400 wheels per shift in different sizes from various sectors, such as agriculture, EM, industry and trucks. The entire assembly process is automated and - in contrast to traditional assembly machines - takes place in a horizontal position. This method is significantly less damaging as it puts less stress on the rim and avoids the risk of damaging the rim bowl. In addition, the finished wheel is filled via the side wall, which is considerably faster and more precise.
At the beginning of the assembly process, tyres and rims are fed in via separate conveyor belts. Newly developed 'tilting tables' and special floor coatings ensure maximum material protection and employee ergonomics even before assembly. The rim is then fixed on an assembly table and the tyre is placed and mounted on the rim fully automatically in two steps. If both tyre and rim are marked accordingly by the manufacturer (lowest point of the rim, highest point of the tyre), the mounting is optimised for concentricity. The next step is to fill the wheel via the side wall. A newly developed pumping bell is used for this purpose with which wheels of different sizes from 20 to 54 inches can be filled without any set-up time and with a maximum deviation of +/- 0.05 bar from the target pressure. In addition, the pumping process takes place in a separately protected area so that there is no risk to employees in the event of a sudden loss of pressure. Finally, the assembled wheel is measured, inspected and packed for delivery to the customer. On average, a fully assembled wheel leaves the machine every 70 seconds.
Gregor Rüth, CEO of Bohnenkamp AG, comments: 'The development time for the assembly line was about two years. Colleagues from the wheel assembly, logistics and sales departments were involved from the very beginning. It can therefore be said that the machine represents the knowledge from over 70 years of wheel assembly with a modern touch'.
Occupational safety and ergonomics
With the new assembly machine, Bohnenkamp is not only expanding its wheel assembly capacities, the wholesaler from Osnabrück is also making sustainable investments in occupational safety and employee health. Gregor Rüth comments: 'In addition to the technology, we have also paid special attention to ergonomics and safety. It significantly improves operating conditions for employees, making an effective contribution to occupational safety and employee health'.