Demag Port Elizabeth has supplied its unique Demag Mono-Rail System (DMS) to a motor vehicle manufacturer in Egypt. DMS is an Electrified Aluminium Mono Rail System suited for high cycle times, increased accuracy, complex automation and low-maintenance applications.
Demag had certain criteria to meet, such as increasing cycle times, explains Project Engineer and Technical Sales Representative Niki Mizen. A particular focus was the assembly process itself, which saw automotive bodies and chassis from two separate production lines being joined on a single moving line.
A chassis is conveyed along a line moving at a set number of meters per minute. The Demag project team then had to align a hoist with a single cab and load box on it with the chassis by matching the different speeds.
Demag embarked on the project in April 2012 and completed it in early 2013. This represented the single biggest order for the Port Elizabeth branch of Demag in 2012. The nine-month project included the overall design and delivery of the solution in question. The Demag project team also assisted with the existing conveyors to ensure these could be slowed down or speeded up in accordance with production targets.
A particular challenge was the design of a purpose-built hangar from where the single cabs and load boxes could be picked up from for the assembly process. Another challenge was modernising the labour-intensive approach at the plant.
The solution proposed by the Demag project team encompassed a main control system for the assembly process, from which an entire production line could be operated from. This electrical system was also upgraded to global specifications.
Demag’s flexibility in being able to respond to, and overcome, its client’s particular requirements meant that the project was completed sooner than expected. This was despite such challenges as specification and software changes, which were circumvented by on-site technicians to ensure that the project implementation went as smoothly as possible.
Even though system modernisation at automotive plants is capital-intensive at the outset, the increased cycle times that are the end result have a marked impact on profitability and productivity. “In addition, the system is virtually maintenance-free, which also enhances the cost-effectiveness of the solution offered by Demag. The experience we have gained on this major project has given us an opportunity to benchmark ourselves internationally in the automotive sector,” Mizen concludes.
About Demag Cranes
Demag Cranes is one of the world´s leading providers of cranes and port technology and enjoys a leading position in globally growing markets. The Johannesburg-based South African division of Demag Cranes specialises in the design and manufacture of cranes and components for industry.
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