The digital factory is on the way to build world-class products

September 14, 2021
How about Dongfeng's automobile manufacturing revolution? Can you keep up with the requirements of the digital age?


Following mechanization, electrification, and informationization, Industry 4.0 is becoming a new stage of the manufacturing revolution, among which digital transformation is the most important booster. At the same time, the "five modernizations" with lightweight, electrification, intelligence, networking, and sharing as the core are guiding the new direction of the automotive manufacturing industry.


Facing the wave of change and relying on Dongfeng’s 52 years of experience in car manufacturing, Lantu Motors integrates global advanced manufacturing technologies and concepts and adopts global leading technologies such as the Internet of Things, big data, edge cloud and artificial intelligence to build a world that meets industry 4.0 standards. Level digital factory to create world-class product quality.


Since its first public appearance at the end of August, Dongfeng Motor's digital factory has aroused widespread concern in the industry. Recently, reporters from this website, together with such media as Auto Business Review, China Quality News Network, and Auto Home, went to Dongfeng Lantu to explore the little-known “secrets” of the digital factory.


Efficient and intelligent stamping workshop forging Dongfeng steel bars


Stamping is the first process of vehicle manufacturing, and it is also the first stop for reporters to visit on site.

In the spacious and clean workshops of the Dongfeng Motor Factory, the production line is running at high speed. Through the glass, you can see that the steel plates have gone through the processes of punching, flanging, shaping, etc., and finally become what each part of the body needs.


The Dongfeng Lantu press line is Dongfeng’s first steel-aluminum mixed production line, with flexibility, refinement and high efficiency ranking among the top in the world. According to the supervisor of the stamping workshop, compared with the traditional high-speed stamping line, the Lantu stamping workshop has a series of advanced technologies, such as CNC hydraulic technology, which can better prevent the parts from cracking and wrinkling during the sheet forming and stretching process, and control the errors of different processes At the lowest level, to ensure accurate and efficient production.


At present, the workshop production speed is 1 piece in 7 seconds, up to 4 seconds per piece. How to ensure the stable quality of stamping parts while producing fast? The reporter noticed that at the end of the automated production press line, there is a manual quality inspection area. Operators made fine distinctions according to different inspection items, using light inspection, hand touch, oilstone inspection and other methods, focusing on the detailed inspection of stamping parts burrs, cracks, deformation, indentation, markings, etc.


It is necessary to ensure that the size of the pits on the surface of the parts is less than 10 microns; the burr management parts of the parts are guaranteed to be within 0.15 mm, and the non-management parts are guaranteed to be within 0.3 mm. The error rate is better than that of traditional luxury brands. Therefore, our operators must undergo rigorous training and have efficient quality inspection capabilities and judgment capabilities.

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Next to the stamping line, there is also a special stamping 3D room. A 3D coordinate detection instrument is used to conduct random inspections on each batch of stamping parts to strictly control the accuracy and stability of the parts.


Because of the strong stamping guarantee, Dongfeng Lantu FREE adopts the world's first TRB+Patch composite structure thermoformed A-pillar, and the B-pillar adopts TRB aluminum-silicon coating thermoformed material, leading the industry trend. At the same time, the door anti-collision beam of 2000MPa aluminum-silicon coating material is used for the first time in global models, and its strength has reached the leading level in the industry.


Fully automatic welding workshop, high cost quality control to ensure "0" defect


Unlike the labor-intensive impression of traditional welding workshops, the Lantu welding workshop is dominated by robots. More than 400 imported Faraco robots waved their mechanical arms neatly, and assembled the individual parts into a beautiful white body step by step in the flying welding. This requires only a small number of operators to complete production equipment and quality control.

On the nacelle line, the operator uses auxiliary tools to transfer the welded parts into the machine island composed of many robots. Then, the robot arm runs automatically. In just a few minutes, a complete engine nacelle is welded and automatically transferred to the next line. Process. Operators control equipment and quality throughout the process.

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The welding automation rate of the welding workshop is 99%, and the welding of the whole vehicle is automatically completed by robots. At the same time, we also have the world's leading body lightweight technology such as laser welding.


Liu Kun, the person in charge of the stamping and welding plant, introduced that all Lantu models can be flexibly operated on a set of equipment to achieve random mixed production of multiple models such as SUVs, MPVs, coupe SUVs, cars, etc., and can be adaptively adjusted and flexibly switched. The production efficiency is extremely high.


At the same time, the workshop makes full use of automatic identification technology to realize unmanned operations and automatic connection between lines to maximize manufacturing efficiency and quality control level.


Safe and complete intelligent welding equipment is located in every corner of the workshop. For example, in the main assembly line arc welding station, 8 robots are used to replace traditional arc welding operators to avoid the health of employees from dust; laser welding is used to replace spot welding on the car door and roof, which reduces the weight of the car body by 3 kg and further enhances the exquisite appearance Sense of quality and quality; all the laser rooms are airtight and overlapped with aluminum alloy plates to perfectly protect the human body; during the welding process, 150 key points of each car are detected online and fed back in real time to ensure the accuracy of the body frame.


In order to ensure the quality of welding and assembly, we have established a three-level inspection system. The team conducts random inspections 4 times per shift; samples a car body every 2.5 hours for full vehicle inspection; and conducts a complete vehicle demolition inspection every 2 to 4 weeks. All tears, check the quality of the solder joints.


According to the quality engineer, Dongfeng high-end vehicles have invested high-cost quality control to ensure that the welding quality of products is industry-leading.


Dust-free painting workshop, unique in the flame treatment process industry

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The powerful intelligent manufacturing capabilities of the paint shop are also shocking. It uses international top brand water-based paint materials for fully automated coating, and the production line also uses internationally advanced water-based surface spraying technology, and replaces traditional solvent-based paints with wet spraying and water-based coatings.


Our reporter learned on the spot that painting is generally divided into the main steps of electrophoresis, gluing, topcoat, and finishing. Among them, the standard of electrophoretic paint is the anti-corrosion level of more than 10 years. The pre-treatment electrophoresis line of the Lantu painting workshop is a fully automated high-speed production line. The production process is designed according to the European 12-year anti-corrosion and anti-rust design. The phosphating and electrophoresis processes of steel parts and aluminum parts have reached the advanced level of the industry.


In the paint shop, no matter the body-in-white sealing and gluing, or the interior floor, front wall, wheel cover, etc., the robot completes the LASD gluing operation. The chassis gluing is more intelligent, using 14 360-degree freely rotating robots, 3 liquid damping robots, and 3D nozzle spraying. The spraying accuracy is high, the covering is good, and the spraying is flexible.


Among them, the spraying of body liquid damping covers almost all the spraying area from the front wall of the body, the floor, to the wheel cover and the rear trunk, leading the industry with leapfrog quality.


In addition to the strict self-inspection of the workshop, Lantu has also established a unique VES and a rigorous exquisite quality evaluation system. The evaluators have no operating pressure and stand completely from the consumer's perspective. Strict control to ensure product quality.


Dongfeng Car's fully automatic resin workshop is equipped with the world's largest tonnage twin-screw injection molding machine, which can efficiently and quickly switch between bumper and fender molding. The total injection molding time of each resin part does not exceed 60 seconds.


It is worth mentioning that both the fully automatic resin workshop and the painting workshop have a unique flame treatment process in the industry. Before spraying, mix natural gas and air 9:1, use a flame of about 8 cm high, quickly burn the resin parts, and then spray paint, not only the color is more pure, but the paint adhesion is stronger.


Digital assembly workshop, technology empowers the brand


In order to accelerate the construction of the digital factory, Lantu cooperated with Hubei Unicom to fully apply 5G advanced technology to build a modern "smart manufacturing" factory.


The staff first showed the reporter the 5G cloud-based AGV car and 5G AR helmet. The 5G cloud-based AGV trolley does not need electromagnetic navigation, and the cloud-based management system can realize the centralized planning, centralized management, and centralized scheduling of the AGV trolley, which can greatly improve the efficiency of production management. AR helmets are more futuristic. Operators can give voice commands to the helmets and obtain information from the sight glasses to perform remote smart operations, smart inspections, and remote assistance, which are convenient and quick.


According to reports, Lantu teamed up with Wuhan Unicom to build a safe, reliable, and low-latency 5G enterprise private network, which covers 100% of all business scenarios. The development and deployment of 5G industrial Internet applications are also advancing simultaneously. In the future, it will also accelerate the construction of 5G fully connected factories and accelerate the realization of Lantu's flexible manufacturing of automobiles.


In addition to the 5G technology blessing, the final assembly shop is also equipped with a series of world-class equipment, one of which is Atlas Torque Tool located in the chassis line. After the screws of each vehicle are tightened, they must be inspected and controlled by Atlas torque tools, and the tightening data is collected and stored in real time. The prosecution period is 10 years, and it is guaranteed that the tightening is "0"; it will flow into the market. In addition, there is the world's first T-shaped flexible body spreader, and a 4-link adjustable assist arm is adopted to improve the accuracy and stability of the assembly operation.


Compared with the traditional fuel vehicle brand workshop, the Lantu assembly plant has added air suspension testing, and the "three powers" that cover the drive motor assembly, battery pack assembly, motor controller, high-voltage wiring harness, etc.; system testing, Control product quality with standards higher than the industry level.


According to the relevant person in charge of the Lantu assembly workshop, Lantu has opened up front-end sales and production back-end data to achieve full digital operation, including the vehicle software version, configuration, function, and abnormal or normal conditions of the vehicle, which can achieve 100% availability. Retrospective.

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From R&D, manufacturing to customer evaluation, Lantu Auto has set up strict quality verification procedures, passing 50 nodes and 12,338 “devil training” verification projects to eliminate defective products and ensure the quality of mass-produced models for users to enjoy A full-scene "quality and zero anxiety" car experience.


In addition, Lantu has also created the in-plant test road with the longest mileage, the most variety, and the most stringent technical conditions among the new mainstream car-building forces, simulating the speed bumps, manhole cover roads, rough dirt roads, and cobblestones that may be encountered in actual driving. Roads and other pavements ensure the driving experience.


The manufacturing industry is a process of continuous development. In the digital age, we are constantly breaking through the barriers between systems and letting information generate value. With the digital construction of factories, the entire manufacturing system will have higher flexibility and stronger risk aversion capabilities, and will more effectively meet user needs.

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The operating officer of Dongfeng Motor stated that during the window period of new energy development, Lantu will firmly grasp the opportunity. While building a strong manufacturing capacity, it will also support Dongfeng Motor’s healthy development with better product planning and more reserve technologies. .