Accurately Tracking a Heavy Duty Industrial Conveyor
Like many high volume car manufacturing facilities, Nissan uses a very efficient moving conveyor and the vehicle is assembled while it is moving. A low cost method is required to accurately track the position of the target on a heavy duty industrial conveyor while it is moving. There are no technologies available that reliably meet the identified needs on a heavy duty industrial conveyor at 60 jobs per hour. This would be a strategically important enabling technology, a breakthrough that opens up many opportunities for automated assembly.
Nissan is a global full-line vehicle manufacturer that sells more than 60 models under the Nissan, Infiniti and Datsun brands. In fiscal year 2015, the company sold more than 5.4 million vehicles globally, generating revenue of 12.2 trillion yen. Nissan engineers, manufactures and markets the world's best-selling all-electric vehicle in history, the Nissan LEAF. Nissan's global headquarters in Yokohama, Japan manages operations in six regions: ASEAN & Oceania; Africa, Middle East & India; China; Europe; Latin America and North America. Nissan has been partnered with French manufacturer Renault since 1999 and Mitsubishi Motors since 2016 under the Renault-Nissan Alliance.
Contribution from RTOs
Specification of the requirements and assessment criteria
Tracking and analysis of conveyor line during typical production shift
Assisting Tecnalia with market survey and downselection process
Marketsurvey of existingtechnologies
Downselection of generated concepts
Existing technologies are not available for heavy duty industrial conveyors and while some lower volume car plants (<45 jobs per hour “jph”) have stop and go production lines, where the vehicle stops at each assembly station, they lose efficiency in the acceleration and deceleration times at each station. Converting NMUK’s lines to ‘stop and go’ would be less efficient and the cost would be prohibitive. Accurately tracking the position of the target location on a part-finished vehicle, while it is moving on a heavy duty industrial conveyor, would open up many opportunities for automated assembly and the productivity improvements that can deliver.