Learn How MOOG is Using Automated Assembly and Quality Assurance to Deliver Superior Quality
There is zero room for error in the design and production of automotive steering and suspension components. Whether a ball joint, track control arm, wishbone, axial rod or other component, it’s primary purpose is to help the driver and passengers remain safe in a full range of operating conditions.
Because there is so much at stake, it is important to understand whether a manufacturer’s engineering, materials and assembly requirements are in line with the real-world demands of today’s vehicles. And if not, which brands and suppliers can installers rely on to deliver the quality, performance, value and safety their customers demand and deserve?
They can turn to MOOG, which has invested in the latest automated assembly and quality control technologies to help ensure that every steering and suspension component meets stringent quality and performance standards. In short, there’s zero room for error when it comes to the parts delivered in a MOOG box.
“Manufacturers that have the scale and expertise to leverage the benefits of smart automation will have a clear path to quality leadership over those that rely exclusively on humans to assemble and quality-check steering and suspension parts,” said Gultekin Hazer, Executive Director Quality EMEA, Tenneco.
Tenneco has deployed a variety of smart machines equipped with sophisticated servo motors and precision sensors to ensure every MOOG part assembled in Europe is within strict tolerances for several key product characteristics. In addition, this automated assembly approach is combined with artificial intelligence (AI) to help robotic equipment “learn” not only how to identify non-compliant parts, but also how to eliminate future quality issues.
Where Servos Become ‘Smart’
A servo, short for servomechanism or servomotor, is an electronic actuator that uses measurements of position, velocity and torque to control an automated manufacturing process. Tenneco has combined this technology with AI to perform two fundamental, quality-critical tasks in the production of MOOG parts:
- Replicate assembly processes so they are 100% accurate
- Measure and record key aspects of each process to identify parts that do not meet the corresponding assembly tolerances
These “smart” servos represent a significant advance beyond human-based assembly and inspection processes, but they are not new. This technology has already revolutionized the production of automobiles, consumer electronics, medical devices, and countless other products. Given the strict quality requirements of many of these categories, it is only natural that smart automation should be applied – and why it is the ideal strategy for the production of steering and suspension parts.
Error-Proofing for Increased Safety
Tenneco uses smart servos and other automated technology to eliminate parts from production that exhibit any of dozens of errors. These include:
- Plastic deformation
- Incorrect linear assembly values
- Deviations from applied force patterns
In each of these cases, whether subcomponents have been assembled incorrectly, feature the wrong fitting sizes or exhibit other faults, the part will automatically be removed from the production line and ultimately be scrapped. Before scrapping, however, MOOG engineers use the continuous stream of data generated through smart manufacturing to pinpoint the root causes of quality problems and modify processes to prevent their recurrence. And so, with each “learning” cycle, the production line becomes more efficient and accurate and the quality of each MOOG part is assured.
‘It is difficult to overstate the importance of this capability,” Gultekin Hazer said. “An out-of-tolerance issue affecting a ball joint, axial joint or tie rod end could be very difficult for a customer to detect before installing the part on a vehicle.”
By choosing MOOG products, the technician and their customers can be confident that every part has passed the most stringent quality checks possible using modern technology.