Fives manufactures and installs equipment, machining systems, automated production systems and fluid filling systems aimed at the automotive industry and other industries, and provides associated service.
As part of its project to increase the production of electric vehicles in Europe, Mercedes-Benz Cars has awarded a contract to Fives to supply three RapidCharge® M Elite machines to its new workshop, where the Smart Fortwo, which will be exclusively electric from 2020 onwards, will be produced.
The Group will also adapt to new needs the RapidCharge® machines supplied in 2012 and 2015 on the existing production line to produce a new electric vehicle.
Grinding is historically considered as one of the least flexible manufacturing processes, with long downtimes when a changeover is required.
Fives has developed an innovative grinding solution which responds to the growing needs for flexibility in the bearings industry: based on revolutionary kinematics, the Bryant TTG machine was successfully tested in the optics industry. This new process allows innovative layout configurations and increases the benefits of flexible tooling.
Fives is experimenting with cobotics, a totally secure and collaborative application based on human-robot interaction, which saves time during the machine reliability phase.
The Group has joined forces with the company E-Cobot to test the Twin adaptor, which can be used to fill both R134a and HFO refrigerants. By reproducing the action of a human wrist and simulating coupling/recoupling actions, this application can perform over 30,000 cycles in just one month, and thus improve the reliability of the process more quickly in similar conditions to client sites.
The German kitchen and interior design company LEICHT Küchen AG selected Fives as part of the construction of its new 40,000 sqm factory located in Schwäbisch-Gmünd, Germany.
The contract relates to the supply of a robotic sorter with a rate of 13,500 panels per day, used to make custom kitchen units, as well as robotic cells for automatic feeding of the two main furniture assembly lines.
Fives has successfully commissioned the handling facilities of PSA new vehicle assembly lines in Rennes La Janais, France and Kenitra, Morocco.
The French site is equipped with the latest Fives technologies in terms of full kitting logistics and height-adjustable lifting body carriers and skillet moving platforms. The line is running at full capacity, with 516 vehicles per day and an annual capacity of 150,000 vehicles. In Morocco, production has started at the Kenitra site at a rate of 15 vehicles per hour. The annual capacity of 90,000 vehicles planned for mid-2019 should be doubled by summer 2020.
Being able to offer local machine modernization and transformation capacities to clients is essential.
In Mexico, thanks to the partnership with Simsa, based in Aguascalientes, the Group now has a workshop fully dedicated to machine modernization, including orbital, centerless or double-disc grinders. In China, in a workshop based in Guangzhou (which also produces filling machines), Fives offers local solutions to upgrade and maintain machines for all technologies.
These two workshops are equipped with measuring chambers with temperature control to classify machines directly after modifications on site.
SGM placed two orders with Fives for HFO filling machines to modify two production lines at its Dongyue site.
At the south site, the project includes three RapidCharge® M Elite machines which will replace the existing machines. At the north site, the project includes modifying existing RapidCharge® M machines to install the HFO module. Following these contracts, Fives signed a framework agreement to supply all new machines and to modify all existing SGM machines to install the HFO module.
To support clients with their requirements in terms of ergonomics, repetitive tasks and productivity, Fives has developed a collaborative robot cell to assemble small sub-components.
This totally safe and collaborative application is integrated into an automotive assembly line. The robot performs the assembly operation and gives the component to the operator, who puts it into position in the vehicle. Cobotics allows the operator to work safely with the robot and combines the expertise and decision-making ability of humans with the endurance and precision of robots.
Changes in the automotive sector leading to new industrial equipment requirements
There are a growing number of new vehicles equipped with driver assistance systems. Autonomous emergency braking, parking assist, intelligent speed assistance, lane departure warnings, pedestrian detection, etc. - ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) don’t just make driving more comfortable, they can also save lives.
The European Union has just issued legislation: following anti-lock braking systems (ABS), electronic stability systems (EPS) and eCall, autonomous emergency braking will be mandatory in new vehicles from 2020.
To respond to this growth, Fives and LET (a specialist in optical calibration and adjustment systems) have joined forces to develop an ADAS bench offer which tests all driver assistance systems and can be integrated seamlessly into the production chain.