Tenneco is a leading designer and manufacturer of automotive products for original equipment and aftermarket customers, with a team of approximately 73,000 members working at more than 270 sites worldwide.
Tenneco is driving advancements in global mobility by delivering technology solutions for diversified global automotive markets. The plant in Sint Truiden is building the suspension systems of the future.
More than ever car ownership is seen as a means of self-expression. As consumers ask for better individual experiences, they are demanding excellent quality, safety, simplified driving and on top- customized features.
In the past “band work” and producing standard cars in bulk was the norm and provoked the need for highly automated processes with very short cycle times. Nowadays there is a shift to more customized, design-to-order cars. The “one-size-fits-all” simply doesn’t work anymore. Inevitably, this involves more configurations and complexity to manage with smaller production set ups.
In addition, the rising component price pressure is enormous and production is shifting to low-wage countries like Poland.
Not everybody is happy with a standard shock absorber, as a result
we are facing an increasing number of one-off production runs
(Bert Diels, Technology Director, Tenneco)
How to make mass customization work?
“Current manufacturing combines flexibility and personalization of custom-made products with low cost units.“ explains Bert Diels, Technology director at Tenneco. “One-off productions require longer cycles. Given this context we still need to guarantee utmost quality. Consequently, there is an increased need to support operators with comprehensive in-context information tailored to their proficiency”.
Tenneco introduced the OIMS = “Operator Independent Monitoring Station”:
- Unskilled operators get the full detailed instruction
- Seasoned operator are allowed to skip steps
Thanks to these OIMs, Tennecco is able to facilitate training-on-the-job with different degrees of instruction sets.
Here is where Ansomatic kicks in. Depending on the skill level any operator is enabled to do the job. By guiding them through with visual prompts the likelihood of making mistakes is highly reduced.
Ansomatic is flexible to tailor to any new production set up,
the fact that it’s a modular platform is a strong advantage.
(Bert Diels, Tenneco)
Ansomatic Use Cases
The ultimate collaboration friend: cobot in combination with AR instructions
End-to-end suspension assembly Luxury Car Line
Cobots are designed to work alongside operators and are seen as their “3rd hand”. Sometimes, the suspension systems can weight quite heavy. Unlike operators manually moving the suspension, the cobot does it for them and will present it in all different directions during the assembly. Moreover, in order to create a fully automated experience for the operator, the instruction set is projected on the manifold in real-time.
Ansomatic serves as the umbrella interface, providing AR-based work instructions to the operator, tracking handlings and integrates smoothly with cobots of any provider.
As a result, Tennecco is able to create a better ergonomic-friendly, efficient and future proof work area.
No need to tell that end-to-end assembly lines go with many interactions and integrations:
– (pre-) assembly
– Final testing
Ansomatic guides the operator through each station with the aid of digital work instructions. Ansomatic serves as one system able to communicate with all Tenneco’s equipment to connect and interact with the right data and parameter sets in time: PLC, pick-to-light IOs, ERP, torque tools,… and gives operator the feedback they need to proceed the process.
Benefits for engineering and production
Our process engineers can easily adapt the instructions regardless the process.
Ansomatic is easy to configure and allows to define multiple programs for different set ups.
(Bert Diels, Tenneco)
“The operator just needs to follow the screen and can perform fairly complex processes in no time.” Says Bert Diels. “This is a must as our one-off productions are increasing. It requires little adjustment time for the operator to do a new cycle (whether it is a riveting more or less, valve more or less,…).
Benefits for operator
Operator feedback is positive.
Bert Diels: “They are fairly open with the system and are smooth with it. “it helps them” is the response. At first it is always difficult to introduce a new system that “controls” them, but after a few hours of working with Ansomatic they accept it and understand that it helps them.”