Thursday, 14 May 2015

Bosch Rexroth optimises luxury vehicle manufacturing facility

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Bosch Rexroth recently supplied a high-end German motor vehicle manufacturer with a more efficient handling and distribution solution for the conveyance of the vehicles’ interior roof trims along the production line. The solution incorporates a customised VarioFlow plus chain conveyor system to provide simplified, automated handling capabilities while optimising the facility’s use of space.

Instead of being laid upon the conveyor belt, the roof interior trims, each of which weigh around six kilograms, are hung vertically from the conveyor, suspended above the floor by about three meters. To achieve this, the VarioFlow plus chain conveyor system was fitted with a longer version of the hanger, to which the carried roof interiors are attached.

The workpiece is then floated directly to the robot at the machining station, which removes the item from the conveyor for machining at the laser cutting station. Once machined, the robot collects the item and returns it to the conveyor, from where it is transported to the removal point and placed in buffer storage.  

The delivery and collection of units to and from the laser cutting station occurs in a completely automated logistical sequence – only the initial deposit and final collection require manual intervention.  

The facility processes around 20 different interior roof trim styles across three vehicle model lines. This new conveyance system, unique in this form, enables the carmaker to serve four complete assembly lines.  

Optimised, flexible production spaces

The VarioFlow modular chain conveyor system offers a high-efficiency conveyance solution for indoors material handling operations in the food and beverage, automotive, packaging, assembly, electronics and material handling industries. As illustrated by the above installation, it offers a fully user-defined conveyance network that moves, accumulates and distributes items across a production floor with maximum space utility, delivering improved productivity in today’s manufacturing facilities.  

The VarioFlow range includes the VarioFlow plus and VarioFlow S chain conveyor systems. VarioFlow plus offers easy to design and assemble conveyor solutions with low noise operability, in widths of 65 mm to 320 mm to support item loads of up to 20 kg. VarioFlow S, ideally suited to maximum-hygiene packaging applications, can be procured in several width variations, from 80 mm to 320 mm, which support item loads up to 22 kg.   Bosch Rexroth manufactures several different chain types to handle a wide range of workpieces, each of which offers high strength and flexibility for long-lasting, reliable performance. Using advanced resin formulae, the VarioFlow chains offer high tensile strength up to 1 250 N.   VarioFlow’s state-of-the-art drive and gearbox infrastructure means 90 percent of motor rotation is delivered to conveyor motion, providing a highly energy-efficient conveyor solution. Low friction coefficient designs also reduce energy load requirements and require fewer drives while delivering a smooth conveyor motion.  

The VarioFlow’s aluminium or stainless steel frameworks provide a high degree of flexibility, allowing operators to adapt and adjust the conveyance system to changing workshop parameters. The VarioFlow range can be combined with RFID for enhanced identification, management and data storage capabilities.   The Bosch Rexroth VarioFlow chain conveyor product range is distributed through southern Africa by Tectra Automation, a Hytec Group company.  


Greg Calder                      

Product Manager                      

Linear Motion and Assembly Technologies                        

Tectra Automation                        

Tel: 011 974 9400                        

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.                        


Published in Energy and Environment