In 2020, to support the business and the operational efficiency, GPV decided on a significant pool of capex for additional investments within automation. An internal competition was launched. 31 proposals were handed in and evaluated, 17 were chosen to be implemented. Some of these projects are now starting to materialise.
A large part of the cable-harness process has traditionally been done by hand at GPV’s two cable sites in Austria and Slovakia. New technologies now make it possible to automate the entire crimping and sealing process (fitting e.g., connectors and small contacts onto the cables). This has been realised by investing in new equipment.
Previously, the crimping and sealing process required several manual routines, e.g., tool changing between the different processes, quality-testing, and sealing by using hand tools. At both cable sites, new machines have been installed resulting in a fast, automatic setup and changeover and several operations can be done simultaneously, making the process more consistent while assuring quality and at the same time traceability trough machine features. The new machines have a fast setup and changeover because the tool and terminal reel quick-change system enables the terminal rolls and crimp tools to be changed during operation.
Full quality assurance and traceability are also machine features as integrated modules and functions ensure seamless quality control. The integrated force monitoring detects missing, individual wires and crimped insulation, and an automatic conductor detector ensures quality, even for the finest conductors by detecting the slightest contact between the blades and conductor strands during cutting and stripping. Additionally, integration with the MES (manufacturing execution system) provides documented traceability.
“I am very happy with the investment as the performance of the machine is beyond our expectations”, says Holger Huber, Head of Production at the cables site in Frankenmarkt, Austria. “Both uptime and quality are high, and production is much faster now with a lot less obstacles”, he continues.
Our future is here
The machines are running at both sites and training of staff started mid-January 2021 and is still ongoing; however, it takes a bit longer due to the coronavirus.
“In the coming months, we will see the true value, performance and capacity of the machines, but there is no doubt that new machines help us “Winning our future” as “we have gained a competitive advantage due to high speed, traceability and quality,” says Walter Scheuringer, Head of Quality at the cables sites in Austria and Slovakia.