The Problem: A sunroof manufacturer moved to a new design and needed to quickly ramp up for production. They needed a single leak test machine to test 54 points on 2 models.
The RedViking Solution: An automated pressure test system capable of leak testing all weld locations, delivered to meet the customer’s aggressive deadline.
Automated Weld Leak Testing on an Aggressive Timeline
An automotive supplier was building a laser weld cell for two new models of sunroof deck and needed to test their welds for burn through. One part had 34 weld locations, the other 20. In the prototype phase, they had been testing the parts with a hand-held vacuum technology unit, but they needed to quickly create an automated system for full production. Their timeline was very tight, vacuum leak testing couldn’t meet their standards, and they’d had trouble in the past with suppliers who dropped machines off at the door and left.
Here’s where RedViking got involved. First, we determined that environmental contaminants could compromise test results if we used traditional vacuum testing methods. Given the specified leak rate and the factory-floor conditions, we chose a pressure test system that would disperse weld dust and other contaminants prior to sealing. This would enable the customer to evaluate the integrity of each weld reliably and protect the sensitive elements inside of the leak test equipment to maximize machine longevity.
Second, we designed an automated part shuttling system to ensure repeatable and safe testing for both sunroof models. Operators load parts and are then required to step out of a light curtain before parts are allowed to shuttle into sealing position. Everything is fully guarded, ensuring that the advance and retract of the sealing assemblies don’t pose any safety risks. Since the two parts don’t share any weld locations, we also designed a rapid changeover system that enables operators to switch tooling sets in less than 5 minutes.
Finally, we integrated tracking and traceability measures for quick defect identification and containment, with full part birth history. The part automatically receives an impact stamp if it passes, providing a quick visual indication to the operators. A traceability system integrated into the machine’s program identifies specific pass/fail data for each weld location and associates it with its part, date and time, creating data for long term quality tracking and analysis.
RedViking was chosen not only for our engineering expertise, but also because the customer knew about our reputation for outstanding long-term support. We provide our customers with a single point of project management to deliver turn-key solutions and ongoing support. We never drop anything off at the door.