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Wiegel integrates custom tooling with in-line automation


A global automotive sensor manufacturer sought to integrate complex, secondary tooling into their in-house automation process. By indexing components to their robotics and automation technologies, they could shorten their supply chain by one step. Though, when it comes to automation, many manufacturers need outside support for their in-line tooling.


This endeavor required an intricate design, prompting multiple challenges. First, it was essential for the tooling to be extremely robust. It needed to ensure repeatability and allow the tooling to run non-stop, with little or no maintenance. Second, the operation was geographically fragmented. Their machines are primarily located in the United States and in Mexico, but their headquarters are in Germany. Thus, design and engineering parameters are determined in Germany … a long way away from production. Third, it was tremendously important for the tooling to seamlessly integrate into their existing automated process. To meet their multifaceted, yet crucial requirements, they needed an engineeringdriven manufacturing partner to provide a custom tooling solution.


Wiegel engineers traveled to Germany. We collaborated with their automation team to fully understand their process, to frame their unique requirements, and to identify the best solution. We custom designed and built a reel-to-reel secondary tool, matching their specifications, incorporating new die and tooling standards, and perfectly aligning with their robotics and automation technologies.


Receiving parts on a reel provided this company with a highly competitive advantage. It is a robust packaging method, which safely handles the material, resulting in an effective cost benefit. The tool design also allows for a longer life, since non-stop production now involves little to no maintenance. A combination of the densely packaged reels and completing the cutting and forming features on their floor, enabled the customer to save an estimated 15 to 20 percent in packaging and freight costs.

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