DALEX welding cells for exhaust gas insulation - specially developed micro-welding guns and spot welders
Suppliers to the automotive industry in particular are facing major challenges. Quality requirements are rising, delivery times are getting shorter and shorter, and prices are falling. At the same time, competitive pressure is high. To ensure there is still something left over for the bottom line, efficient and simultaneously economical production processes are in demand.
The automation of processes often brings the decisive advantage here. DALEX has many years of experience in welding insulation half-shells on the exhaust tract, especially for passenger cars, and has already developed and built a wide variety of product-dependent welding cells.
Performance enhancements in engine technology, tightly installed units and encapsulations as well as high-tech catalytic converters and exhaust turbochargers lead to high temperatures in the engine compartment, on the underbody and in the exhaust system. The protective shields ensure process-reliable temperature control in the exhaust tract and at the same time protect the adjacent components from the heat. In addition, high demands are placed on noise and environmental protection. In recent years, insulation technology has developed into a rapidly booming market worldwide, not least due to ever stricter legal requirements.
Insulation systems now include a wide range of high-temperature insulation for components such as exhaust manifolds, turbochargers, catalytic converters and standard exhaust pipes. They form the basis of tailor-made shielding solutions for the entire vehicle and reduce surface temperatures, simultaneously increasing exhaust gas energy and reducing emissions. Which of the different designs is used depends on the specific requirements. Materials and design are optimally adapted to the respective application.
Specially developed welding tools
"Because of the many different components, the geometries of the insulation shells naturally also vary greatly. This in turn has consequences for the connection and fastening points. In addition, different welding tasks need to be performed. On the one hand, the insulation shells have to be joined together at the joints and on the other, they have to be welded to the basic body of the exhaust train itself," says Dr. Eng. Henning Grebe, Head of Design at DALEX Schweißmaschinen GmbH & Co. KG.
DALEX has developed tools for spot welding for a wide range of applications: The special micro welding guns enable precise welding at the seams (flanges) of the insulation shells. That is how the shell contours are connected to form a whole. If the shielding needs to be welded directly to the base material of the component, DALEX uses special impact punches for one-sided spot welding. One focus is always the design of the component holder in such a manner that all welding positions can be reached.
Adapted automation solutions
Due to the components of the exhaust gas system with different geometries, adapted solutions are also required when designing the system. Dr. Grebe explains: "If the components are compact, it usually makes sense to use a solution where the robot guides the workpieces to stationary welding stations.
When joining very complex and large components, however, it is better to have a robot with micro welding guns or spot welders move the individual welding positions." DALEX uses a quick-change system on the robot flange to adapt the tools fully automatically to the task at hand.
The workpieces themselves are usually fed manually into one or two insertion positions due to their shape. The work is carried out in parallel: the operator loads and unloads the system on one side, while the robot welds the parts on the other. But DALEX also has fully automatic line solutions in which the components are inserted and the finished parts removed by robots.
"With these coordinated solutions, we enable the user to weld exhaust gas line insulations precisely and quickly. Thanks to a high degree of automation and the resulting increase in productivity, suppliers can confidently cope with global economic pressure," says Dr. Grebe, summarizing the advantages.