Editor's Choice

Case study on automotive quality control

First Quarter 2024 Editor's Choice

Motion Tronic selects high-performance PLCs and HMIs from Inovance Technology to engineer a smart catalytic converter quality control solution for the exhaust facility at Toyota South Africa Motors.

Customer profile

Headquartered in Prospecton near Durban, Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) is a manufacturer of Toyota vehicles. Since its establishment in South Africa in 1961, global motoring giant Toyota has become part of the country’s culture, and is one of its best-selling automotive brands. A wholly-owned subsidiary of the Japanese Toyota Motor Corporation, TSAM has a strong focus on quality control, deliverables, safety, and ease of use.

Bradley Douglas, Motion Tronic director.

Motion Tronic, founded in 2003 in Durban, is an official distributor of Inovance products in South Africa, providing a wide portfolio of motion control solutions. The company also offers local specialist support from engineers who have completed dedicated training on Inovance products, including installation, commissioning, and technical and mechanical support.

The challenge

The TSAM exhaust plant was looking for a way to ensure that all exhausts were manufactured with the correct catalytic converter for the applicable model before assembly. Assembly staff needed a quality control solution that would ensure the correct part matching of the units being assembled, and significantly reduce the risk of errors relating to incorrect part matching.

The solution

TSAM approached Inovance’s South African distributor, Motion Tronic for help in designing and building a solution to check the quality of its catalytic converters before assembly. Motion Tronic worked with the team at TSAM’s exhaust plant to create a quality control system for catalytic converters that checked part numbering inside the unit, checked the weld seam, and checked the part number stamped on the outside of the catalytic converter.

Global industrial automation company, Inovance was selected by Motion Tronic to provide a solution. Technical support engineers from Inovance worked alongside Motion Tronic’s project engineer to develop the correct solution to TSAM’s quality control challenge.

The solution comprised two IFM infrared cameras that identified the numbering inside the catalytic converter, and also the stamped numbering on the outside of the catalytic converter. These were linked to a high-performance Inovance H3U PLC, which provided communication over Ethernet, and acted as a central processing unit. Data was processed by the PLC and compared with recipes programmed into an IIoT-ready Inovance IT7000 HMI to determine whether the catalytic converters were within the acceptable range. This delivered a clear pass/fail result that could be easily read by Toyota’s assembly staff.

The benefits

Inovance was chosen by Motion Tronic because it offered a cost-effective, high-quality solution. Motion Tronic and Toyota found Inovance very easy to work with, and the Inovance range of industrial automation products provided the required communication interfaces and displays needed to acquire, process and deliver test results directly to Toyota assembly staff.

The quality control solution engineered by Inovance, Motion Tronic and TSAM provided a cost-effective and high-performance solution to the problem. The new quality control system ensured that all exhausts assembled at the plant were manufactured with the correct catalytic converter for the applicable model.

Key benefits

The solution brought a number of benefits:

• Cost-effective quality control.

• High performance.

• Ease of use.

• Fast communication.

• Clear display of data.

• Reliability.

• Increased productivity.

• IIoT capabilities.

“We really enjoyed working with Toyota, and we hope to do so again in future. The project was very successful and this was in no small part due to the high-quality, cost-effective performance of the Inovance PLC and HMI used to solve the quality control problem at the exhaust plant,” said Motion Tronic director, Bradley Douglas.

“Inovance provides built-in communication, even on mid-level PLC units. We are very pleased to see how well our H3U Series PLC and smart HMI suited this project. Our wide range of industrial automation products provides the flexibility and capabilities to deliver the best possible solution for projects across all industry sectors,” added David Bedford Guaus, strategic marketing manager at Inovance.

For more information contact Motion Tronic, +27 83 641 1487, b.douglas@motiontronic.co.za, www.motiontronic.co.za


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