Car supplier invests in new £500,000 robot welding cell

Posted on 27 Nov 2017 by Jonny Williamson

Tier One automotive supplier Sertec has invested in a new £500,000 robot welding cell to manufacture parts for the new Toyota Auris.

Sertec has invested in a new £500,000 robot welding cell to manufacture parts for the new Toyota Auris – image courtesy of Sertec

The West Midlands-based company won a contract to manufacture the rear seat assembly for the new Auris from Toyota supplier Adient.

The new manufacturing cell, designed and supplied by Cyber-Weld Ltd, FANUC’s strategic arc welding systems supplier in the UK, is scheduled to produce circa 80,000 rear seat assemblies every year at Sertec’s Coleshill facility.

Sertec will manufacture two variants of the Auris rear seat, which will be manufactured at Toyota’s Burnaston plant in Derbyshire, with different assemblies for the hybrid and all-electric variants.

The new MiG welding cell, which was designed by Cyber-Weld is equipped with two Fanuc ARC Mate 0iB robots, controlled by R-30iB controllers.

In addition, the cell is equipped with a 500kg payload turntable capable of 1,80o indexing, air-cooled Binzel welding torches and a torch cleaning station. Safety is provided by metal guarding and the FANUC dual check safety (DCS) software package.

Many of the welds on the Auris seat structures are deemed safety critical and the cell has therefore been equipped with the ARCAgent™ weld monitoring system, including industrial PC and cabinets, to monitor and record every weld.

Sertec is one of the world’s leading structural body parts suppliers, specialising in aluminium welding techniques alongside more traditional resistance and MiG welding.

The move into aluminium welding has helped support the company’s long-term relationship with Jaguar Land Rover, which now includes a manufacturing facility in Hungary to support the carmaker.

Sertec structural body parts have been used in a number of JLR’s flagship vehicles including the Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, Discovery and Discovery Sport.

Colin Partridge, head of Welding Projects at Sertec Group, commented: “The contract to make the rear seats’ cushion assembly for the Auris is our first venture with Adient / Toyota and a very important one for the company.

“We needed a completely new robot manufacturing cell, which would have the flexibility to weld the different seat structures required by Toyota. Cyber-Weld reacted quickly and suggested a design that both impressed Toyota and Adient, and also delivered on the key production KPIs that we stipulated.

“The cell was delivered and commissioned on schedule, which has allowed us to fulfill our commitments to the customer.”

Fraser Reid, Managing Director at Cyber-Weld commented: “We have a long relationship with Sertec that now includes more than 70 FANUC robots across the company’s Coleshill and Tyseley sites.

The new cell is a state-of-the-art robot welding cell complete with a range of technologies that will ensure the highest levels of productivity allied to guaranteed weld quality on safety critical components.”