Transfer Systems

Front Cross-Member

Front Cross-Member

front cross member This unique front cross-member assembly system features special build-up fixtures, precise part holding, and an ergonomically-correct counterbalanced lifting device. The front cross-member is a critical and complex component that serves as a mounting platform for the vehicle's steering gear, sway bar, control arms, and reinforcement plate.

Assembly technique

Peak Industries' approach to cross-member assembly features special build-up fixtures, each approximately four feet long and with 13 floating pockets, accommodating 13 nuts. These fixtures arrive at the cross-member assembly area on a conveyor. The first operator places the 13 nuts in their sockets and locates the aluminum cross-member into the fixture using an Ergo-Arm.

The next operator places the steering gear unit in position using a three-spindle nut runner to tighten three bolts. The sway bar is loaded in and bolted down by the next operator, followed by a fourth operator who mounts and bolts on two control arms.

In the final assembly step an operator puts a steel reinforcement plate across the top of the cross-member and bolts it into position, using multiple nut runners.

Part holding and ergonomics

What appears to be a relatively straightforward part-holding function, in effect, requires a precise application of pressure to achieve the proper torque and avoid having any of the nuts hang-up or lock in their sockets. An integral plunger device developed by Peak Industries engineers releases the assembled cross-member with a 1/8 inch vertical travel.

After all of the bolts are tightened. The completed cross-member assembly is then lifted from the fixture via an ergonomically-correct handling system and placed on a delivery system to the final vehicle assembly line.

This last handling step is completed utilizing a Peak Industries' air operated, counterbalanced lifting device. It is mounted on an overhead carriage that moves on rails supported by a bridge-type structure. The company builds this versatile handling system in a variety of weight-lifting capacities.

Peak Industries has been a supplier of custom automation and assembly components and special machines and systems for the automotive and other manufacturing industries since 1966.