Browse Publications Technical Papers 2000-01-2702

Utilizing Advanced Technology to Achieve Dimensional Goals during Launch 2000-01-2702

In this age of quality consciousness compounded with efforts to improve the speed to market in the automotive industry, it is necessary to use the appropriate measurement technologies available to be successful. This applies to the production facilities of the major auto producers as well as their supplier base.
Major BIW Assemblies of the Quad Cab Dakota (AN-84) were sourced by DaimlerChrysler to Tower Automotive. This paper will describe the process adopted by Tower Automotive, which resulted in producing these subassemblies at quality levels, which met or exceeded the customers' requirements. Details will be provided for every stage of the process, beginning with the development of the tooling and gage plans to support the PLP (Principle Locating Point) Plan and tolerancing as outlined by the customer. It will describe the construction and certification process of the assembly tools at both the construction source and the run source. In addition, it will describe the measurement tools and methods used to prepare the tooling for production and used to measure the detail parts and the assemblies as shipped to the customer. Mean deviation and variation issues and their resolution will be discussed
Key elements of this process were the utilization of the SMX (Spatial Matrix Corporation) Laser and the Perceptron FITS (Flexible In Line Trending System). Understanding the function of the measured feature and the effect of deviations on the completed assembly are key to effective use of resources. Data will be utilized to describe the problems that were encountered and to demonstrate the effects of the corrections made - beginning with the assembly of the first prototypes.
Quality of the subassemblies as shipped to the customer is dependent on many factors. Although many will be mentioned as appropriate, this paper will primarily focus on
  • the quality planning process
  • the tooling validation procedures/tooling changes
  • other changes and the results achieved


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