The global automotive component manufacturer Bosal complies with traceability requirements from its customer VW. In order to achieve this, it has needed to deploy the Aimtec DCIxMES system at its plant in Brandýs nad Labem. Aimtec’s software delivery included scanners for reading the special DPM (Direct Part Marking) barcode types.
The system collects data directly from machines over OPC servers or I/O converters. Bosal’s first line for Volkswagen has been running since March of 2017. An expansion for car manufacturer Volvo and other customers is planned for the future.
Bosal’s Brandýs nad Labem plant produces exhaust systems for leading automotive manufacturers. Volkswagen has requested that they provide for, and provide proof for, the traceability of the products they supply. Since March of 2017, Bosal has been running a production line with a pilot project that utilises Aimtec’s DCIxMES system. Since that time, Bosal has introduced traceability monitoring for another four final lines, one box line, and several pre-assembly lines.
Other lines for their customer VW are in preparation and will soon be in operation. DCIxMES will also be deployed on the lines for other customers, including Volvo, Opel and Suzuki. The MES system monitors the serial numbers of individual components, which contain information on who and when welded which part of the exhaust system and then performed pressure tests. There are several of these. They are generally performed after each welding job. The machines automatically evaluate whether or not components’ air leakage is within the defined tolerance. If the leakage exceeds certain limits, it is automatically blocked by the system and marked as a NOK unit. The quality controller evaluates the product and either releases it or selects a defect type.
This System Prevents Errors in Manufacturing Operations
Bosal’s customer Volkswagen defines the process parameters for the production of a specific exhaust system, which then become a part of its manufacturing method. This method is then registered in the MES system. DCIxMES verifies that each specific exhaust system has passed through the correct manufacturing operations in a given order. In the case of an error, the status is reported immediately and the component can no longer continue on to the next manufacturing operation. The system blocks the product. A quality specialist’s evaluation then once again follows.
Scanning DPM Codes
The exhaust systems are marked with 2D codes that are implemented through sheet-metal perforation via the DPM (Direct Part Marking) method. The code contains the products’ serial numbers and enables monitoring of their entire life cycle. It is scanned using mobile terminals that enable the reading of Zebra DS3578 DPM codes. Aimtec has supplied readers alongside the system.
Connection to Machines via OPC Server or I/O Converters
For management of the manufacturing processes to be possible, DCIx must be connected to Bosal’s machines. This is done in two ways. For machines with automated PLC systems, they are connected over an OPC server. For other machines, primarily of older types, they are connected over an I/O converter interface. DCIxMES thus collects data that is ready for use in OEE/Traceability reports, straight from the machines.
BOSAL ČR, spol. s r. o.
The product portfolio of this global manufacturer of automotive and industrial components includes systems for emissions control, towing equipment, rooftop carriers, wind deflectors, energy conversion systems, hoists and toolkits. Bosal is a company from the Netherlands, with its registered office in Belgium. Its 2015 revenues amounted to EUR 690 million. It has over 4,700 employees spread out over 29 manufacturing plants and 18 distribution centers. Its Brandýs nad Labem plant produces exhaust systems for global automotive manufacturers.