in Vol. 18 - September Issue - Year 2017
Stress Peening Of Automotive Springs: New Automated Machine Boosts Quality And Efficiency
Wheelabrator is a world leader in surface preparation technology, offering a complete range of airblast, wheelblast and mass finishing solutions. Leading companies in the foundry, automotive, aerospace, energy, marine, rail, construction and many other industries have used Wheelabrator Group’s products and services to improve productivity and profitability for over 100 years. With over 10,000 active customers in more than 30 end-user markets, Wheelabrator continues to use the experience of having the largest installed base in the industry to deliver the best solution for the customer.
Rözmaş Çelik San. ve Tic. A.Ş., a leading manufacturer of automotive springs and stabilizers, has invested in an automated spring stress-peening machine from Wheelabrator to achieve the highest production qualities more rapidly.
Stress peening means that a pre-defined load is applied to each spring during peening, improving its long-life fatigue strength and enabling a lighter design.
The SRS-4 stress-peening machine from Wheelabrator ensures a fast and consistent peening process with varying degrees of automation, and is a well-established and trusted solution for automotive suspension springs.
At Turkey-based Rözmas, the new SRS-4 replaces an older, non-Wheelabrator spinner-hanger type machine that had been modified to enable stress peening. This older machine was unable to meet increasing quality requirements and output targets.
The new machine’s compact design is centred around a "satellite turntable" with five separate blast chambers with two satellites per chamber that hold, compress and rotate one spring each. This means pairs of springs are "clocked" through the machine at a steady, continuous pace, with loading and unloading of one chamber happening while peening takes place in two others.
Wheelabrator’s SRS-4 machine can peen a pair of springs in only 16 seconds, resulting in an output of up to 450 springs per hour, with blast cycles of neighbouring chambers overlapping (depending on condition and type of parts, production methods, peening requirements etc.). The new SRS-4 at Rözmas achieves a much improved and more consistent quality.
Loading and unloading can be carried out by a robot, manipulator, automated module, or - as is currently the case at Rözmas - manually. The machine therefore lends itself to seamless and flexible integration in highly automated production lines.
The machine can accommodate coil springs with a maximum uncompressed length of 600mm and a minimum compressed length of 150mm. Four powerful, indirect-drive Wheelabrator U70 blast wheels with 22kW each then blast the springs from all sides, thanks to variable worktable rotation speeds between 24 and 45rpm.
Tolga Yalgi, Managing Director at Rözmas, comments: "We’re delighted with the performance of our new spring peening operations. We manufacture suspension springs for the big names in the automotive field, which means our processes have to be exceptionally good and consistent. Peening is a key process to ensure a long life and reliable performance of each spring. The new machine from Wheelabrator gives us the assurance we need to offer the best quality to our customers. In addition to a much more efficient and precise peening operation, the SRS-4 also uses less energy and offers better overall machine safety than our previous process."
Rözmas placed the order for the new machine with the Wheelabrator technology centre (TC) in Zürich towards the end of 2015 and received the SRS-4 in July 2016. The machine was commissioned in Gebze Kocaeli, Turkey, by a small team of engineers from the Technology Center in Zürich. A full hand-over followed in autumn 2016.