Rigging and Derigging Stations for End-of-Line (EOL) Hot Engine Testing
Engine Manufacturer - Michigan
Project Features: Rigging & Derigging Stations, Siemens PLC Processor, Oil Heating Units and Pumping System, Dispensing Stations, Production Quality Hot Engine Test, Dyno
At the end of the line at this engine manufacturer’s Michigan manufacturing plant, diesel engines are tested at a rigging station. Technicians add oil to the engines and connect a dynamometer adaptor. Once the tests are complete, the dynamometer adaptor is removed.
An efficiency analysis revealed this oil fill station was bottlenecking the production line. ACS was hired to streamline the end-of-line hot engine testing.
ACS devised a system that combines elevated rigging stations, an oil heating and pumping system, and multiple oil dispensing stations to keep the line moving.
The ACS solution puts preheated high-pressure oil into the engine at a different point than previous tests. Using hot oil means engines enter the test cell already filled and up to temperature.
The new oil-fill process takes the exact same amount of time as the process to install an engine part known as a spline. ACS designed and built the oil rigging equipment so that the oil fill happens at the same time as the spline installation – essentially removing oil fill time from total production time.
“This is our third piece of equipment on that assembly line to improve efficiency,” said Andrew Harris, ACS lead instrumentation and controls engineer. “It’s an effort to continuously streamline their process. They’re always looking to improve throughput. So they do time studies, find where the bottleneck is and reach out to us to fix that.”
- The new filling process reduced oil fill time from about 5 minutes per engine to less than 30 seconds per engine.
- The oil fill now takes place simultaneously with the installation of another engine part, resulting in net zero time spent filling engines with oil.
- Using hot oil means time in the test cell isn’t wasted waiting for engine to heat up.
ACS’ solid track record has made it a preferred source for many of this manufacturer’s line upgrades. The manufacturer has very specific IT and controls requirements that ACS has proven time and again it is able to meet.
“We know the customer’s specs very, very well,” Harris said. “They know we’re able to deliver what they want, and we work with them to make sure it all meets their satisfaction.”