Automotive Sector Case Study: Premium Car Bumper Assembly Machines

The Challenge: Create a Controls System for Premium Vehicle Bumper Assembly Line that will provide a fully Customisable Sequenced Process, that is Poka-Yoke protected and Data Logged for Audit.


•         The ability to customise the sequence program via HMI

•         The ability to add/ modify child part barcodes as the product evolves over time

•         The ability to split a process between one or two operators with associated HMI's

•         Prevent the possibility of assembly mistakes with use of Poka-Yoke

•         Clear and concise process step information on the HMI's for operator

•         RFID login functionality with access levels for each user

•         Secure assembly process data logging for audit trail

The Solution

Grove Automation undertook the electrical design, procurement and installation, along with the software build and test, for the complete set of machines for assembly of Front and Rear Bumpers for a well-known premium vehicle manufacturer.

The client is able to, with the use of clever Grove Automation library PLC code, select the required sequence steps in any order they wish and distribute them to either one or two operators (with each operator having their own independent HMI screen).

Error-proofing through use of Poka-yoke was engineered in early at design stage to ensure, along with thorough sequence data logging, that we deliver a robust and efficient solution to the client.

The Result

Takt time of 142 seconds achieved

6 Fully configurable machines for sequence steps, screw counts, child part barcodes, paint colours, bypass for faulty parts/ sensors, process time allowance, user timeout and sensor masking. These configurations can be saved and loaded from USB, giving maximum flexibility to the client to work dynamically.

Poka-Yoke confirmation checks at every step, via sensors, barcodes and screw counts.

Rapid RFID user login with access levels set by supervisor.

All vehicle bumper components electrically tested for functionality and for specification conformity.

Pick-to-Light (PTL) draws using remote IO work in tandem with assembly machine. Draws are configured to tray barcodes using hand-held reader.

USB data logging for analysis and traceability of: sequence time and data, vehicle barcode specification, screw counts, child part barcode scans, scrapped processes and operator logged in.

Fast turnaround from conception to client SAT.

Delivered on time and into production with success.

Exceeded client expectations.

“Grove Automation have delivered a process control system that follows and indeed exceeds the functional specifications supplied. They understood the bespoke control criteria specified and were also able to suggest alternatives and improvements to further refine the process. They were also happy to adapt the system requirements as required during development and have provided exceptional after sales support so far for production implementation.”  

Senior Assembly Engineer, End Client

a: Grove Automation, Olympus House, Main Street, Kirby Muxloe, LE9 2AP


t: 0116 298 2737