Simulates the rest of the system, to arrive at the finished crane more quickly and more easily
Manitowoc Crane Group Germany GmbH (MCG) is one of the world's leading manufacturers of hydraulic mobile cranes. The factory in Wilhelmshaven traces its roots back to the Krupp-Ardelt company founded after World War Two, which in turn traces its own roots to the Ardelt works in Eberswalde. In 1995, the company was taken over by Grove and then by Manitowoc Cranes in 2002. Today, a workforce of just under 1000 makes two cranes every day. MCG produces mobile cranes with load-carrying capacities to 450 t, lift working platforms and construction cranes.
Manitowoc Crane Group Germany has been a customer of IGH Automation since 2008.
IGH has supplied several AQIs test stands for final assembly on the assembly line for the main subassemblies. These are used for testing upper structures, lower structures and booms.
Benefit to MCG:
- Reducing the amount of diagnosis and reworking
- Simulating the rest of the system
- AQIs as a quality gate
- Know-wow transfer within the company
Why did you need to re-invest in your testing and measuring systems?
Mr. Kien: We want to detect errors in the main subassemblies at an early stage during the production process, and perform the first adjustment tasks. If possible before the entire vehicle is assembled, so as to reduce the amount of diagnosis and repair work. The process of commissioning a mobile crane should be more structured and should be reproducible.
Why did you choose the AQIs solution as opposed to other solutions??
Mr. Kien: We found nothing comparable on the market to perform these complex tasks that we had. We manufacture very varied products, and the way in which AQIs takes account of such variables is exactly what we were looking for. AQIs also enables us to use parameterisable test sequences, i.e. those that we can adapt ourselves.
What did you want to achieve with the investment?
Mr. Kien: We were aiming for greater reliability in the production process, so as to further increase the quality of our products. The tests on our products should always be performed under the same conditions. Any errors that occur in the main subassemblies should be detected at an early stage.
Which of your objectives were achieved thanks to the AQIs solution?
Mr. Kien: The assembly and commissioning process is noticeably smoother and more structured. We achieved the time saving that we were aiming for. The processes are more transparent because a precise analysis of the cause is now possible thanks to the automatically recorded digital test data.
The subassemblies are tested from electrical, functional and control aspects. Not yet installed subassemblies are simulated, in particular the subassemblies that have not yet been installed. Only then is it even possible to test incomplete products such as individual or complex components. Functional tests can be performed, in which the functions actually expect or require enabling signals or measured values from missing subassemblies.
Each mobile crane is manufactured according to customer requirements. AQIs takes over the actual design of the vehicle from the ERP system.
To guarantee a consistently high quality standard of the vehicle cabs and to prevent recurring error sources, MCG has installed a cab test stand on the premises of its driver's cab manufacturer.
The future concept provides for incorporation of this supplier's AQIs cab test stands into the AQIs system at MCG. For this, the manufacturer's test results should be transferred to MCG once daily via an offline interface, and imported here. This means that the results of the cab tests recorded by the supplier would be available in the same form as if the test stands had physically been at MCG.