Laser Tracker Aligns Complex Commercial Vehicles Alignment Machines

Commercial vehicle manufacturers are facing increasing demand, more complex designs and features, and the toughest emissions standards in history. Today’s vehicles need to be made faster, while meeting performance demands that were unthinkable even 20 years ago. And nowhere is this more true than with the complex wheel and axel assemblies that are critical to vehicle performance.

To help manufacturers meet these demands across their varied vehicle lines, DURR Schenck Rotec has developed the revolutionary X Wheel D Truck machines that automatically adapt to the varying number and position of axels on the vehicle, measure their key features to international standards, and adjust them on turntables to nominal parameters. But the size and moving parts of these machines can make them difficult to install and maintain. Schenck reached out to the globally local team at API Services. Working with Schenck, API was able to:

– Level the guideways across their 13m length

– Install machine sensors on the guideways

– Calibrate and verify the machine’s performance throughout its 39-cycle process

DURR Schenck Rotec India Pvt Ltd has been represented in India since 1986. The efficient team of Schenck Rotec provides expert advice and support for all aspects of Balancing and Diagnostics technology. Schenck is represented worldwide in every market and has production locations in Europe, America, and Asia. They also maintain a comprehensive service network, which ensures short distances to their customers all over the world.

As part of Schenck’s commitment to delivering the highest quality balancing systems to every industry, they listened to what their customers in commercial vehicle production needed. Trucks and buses with an axle load of up to ten tons represent special challenges to the testing system. To help support the assembly and testing of these axles, Schenck developed the X-Wheel D machine. With the wheel alignment stand, X-Wheel D has set new standards in terms of measurement and adjustment of the wheel geometry. Well-known manufacturers like Volvo, Tata, DAF, Leyland, Ford, FAW, Dongfeng, Iveco, Ashok Leyland, MAN, Geely, Kenworth, Peterbilt, Renault and Mercedes-Benz rely on this process and benefit from the great advantages of this test stand regarding quality, flexibility and cycle time.

X-Wheel D relies on non-contact x-3Dprofile measuring technology, which automatically covers the high variance in number and position of the axles and does so without adaption of measuring devices on tires and frames. Thus, the machine can repeatably measure and adjust vehicle parameters such as toe and camber angles at any time and place and trace them to national and international standards. The adjustment of axles is carried out by using turntables whereas the adjustment is based on the nominal values indicated by the manufacturers.

But the X-Wheel D is a large and very complex machine, as it has moving parts to adjust the various axel features across a significant working envelope. And with high demand for the revolutionary machine, Schenck needed an efficient, accurate process for leveling, calibrating, compensating, and verifying these machines. Schenck turned to the team of metrologists at API Services to develop and execute this measurement and verification process. Using API’s Radian Plus Laser Tracker, API Services’ India team developed a simple process to level the guideways, install machine sensors, align the skids, calibrate the machine, and verify the compensated values.

API Services’ India team has so far completed calibration-compensation and verification of wheel alignment DURR X-Wheel D truck machines at 5 Schenck locations in India. For each machine, the team followed the same process:

Levelling of guideways

The team begins by levelling and adjusting with shimming each of the two guideways across their 13000mm length.

Installation DURR machine sensors

Once the guideways have been leveled, the team uses the tracker to guide precise installation of X- Wheel D truck machine sensors on the guideways.

Alignment of skid

To calibrate the machine, alignment or refence points are very important. Here reference points are at the corners of a movable skid which has 10mm holes. The skid has 2 black plates at each side for laser calibration at a distance.

Calibration of DURR Machine

After defining its origin (0,0,0) position, the skid moves at 315mm increments from 0 to 11970mm down the entire guideway (39 cycles). API Services uses Radian Plus to measure real-time values from the skid reference points. These values create a report in the software that is put into the machine controller, which will compare the actual and nominal values and compensate for errors.

Verification of compensated values

With these new compensated values in the machine’s controller, verification is performed after for each location to confirm the accuracy of the measurements and the controller. If the machine passes verification, then the machine is moved to its next position. This calibration, compensation and verification steps is then repeated for the other 38 cycles.

Using Radian Plus Laser Tracker, API Services’ expert team in India have helped DURR Schenck Rotec to accurately and efficiently level, install, align, calibrate, and verify their X-Wheel D machine at 5 locations across India.

For more information: www.apimetrology.com

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