After recognizing an excess of wasted material, labor time, and mess during the lubrication of window actuator components, an automotive manufacturer asked GP Reeves for a dispensing solution to simplify their assembly process and make it more efficient. Our engineers configured a custom system that provided increased process control, cleanliness, accuracy, and effectiveness. The custom lubrication dispense system accommodated the company’s unique grease material, and accurately monitored the material’s volume. By utilizing the unique dispensing capabilities of GP Reeves, the automotive manufacturer improved efficiency, effectiveness, and reliability of their assembly line and process. Our cutting-edge technologies have since been used in numerous other assembly processes for the same company, and we look forward to finding solutions and continuing to fuel progress in the automotive industry.
The Problem: Automotive Manufacturer Utilizing an Ineffective Lubrication Processes
A global automotive manufacturing firm was struggling with a messy application process due to an inefficient grease dispensing system which led to excess wasted material, a surplus of labor time, and an overall lack of procedural control. The company was attempting to dispense grease into the grooves of a window actuator, an automotive part that facilitates the opening of a window, with the goal of providing lifelong component lubrication.
The process of their material delivery involved a timed dispense system with a single dispenser connected to a nozzle plate with 10 output holes. This method required a singular grease path to be split ten ways, making dispense volumes tough to monitor. Additionally, the shape of the nozzle led to material sticking to the nozzle rather than transferring onto the part. The application was unorganized, messy, and imprecise. Timed dispense isn’t reliable due to variances in material viscosity, and even if it were, the ambiguity of the nozzle meant material could build up and remain on an individual output versus being properly dispensed onto the window actuator. This inefficient transfer led to unnecessary amounts of wasted material, increased labor time required for nozzle cleaning, frustration over unreliable dispense volumes, and overall ineffectiveness of the assembly line.
The Challenge: Tricky Material and Existing Automation
The automotive manufacturer had worked with us in the past. During a facility visit for a separate project they asked us to look at their tooling and aid in improving their process. We recognized the need for proper component lubrication processes in their manufacturing line, and immediately noticed several flaws in their existing tooling. Accurate grease delivery was important to ensure the wire and spring assemblies on the actuator could move and function properly. To circumvent the challenges of their unique grease material and meet their needs for system accuracy and cleanliness GP Reeves supplied a custom positive-displacement system that could integrate into their existing automation.
The Solution: Positive Displacement Dispensers Paired with Custom Nesting
This positive-displacement system included a custom nest containing ten luer lock needle nozzles paired with ten GSS dispensers to reliably distribute accurate amounts of grease onto the window actuator. After a simple integration into the customer’s existing assembly line, GP Reeves’ one dispenser-per-endpoint design ensured accurate grease delivery to the correct points on the actuator.
Since the integration of GP Reeves custom solution into their window actuator assembly processes, the automotive manufacturer has seen numerous positive outcomes on top of the specific grease application has improved greatly. The system is more precise overall due to the increased control and improved capacity for process monitoring, plus it requires less maintenance time. The enhanced transfer capacity of the GP Reeves nozzle system has allowed for a clean nozzle and a neat application onto actuator components. This led to a defined level of precision relating to the grease’s distribution which can be accurately monitored.
End Results: Efficient Lubrication System and a Happy Customer
Though completely custom, this solution wasn’t unusual for our engineering team. GP Reeves has a proven track record of improving manufacturer’s automated assembly lines with custom tooling and dispensers. In this instance, the problem-solving and hard work of our engineers led to a more sustainable, efficient, and profitable customer assembly line. Because of their meaningful work and commitment to innovation, our team has similarly enhanced many other dispensing applications for this automotive manufacturer. We look forward to optimizing more automated processes in the future with our progressive dispensing technology.
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