Faster and more accurate glue application
December 2012 – Dürr has received its largest order to date for automotive body-in-white gluing technology from the Volkswagen Group. The Application Technology division will gradually install some 520 automatic gluing systems at Audi in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm, Germany, and the VW plant in Bratislava, Slovakia, by the end of 2014. Dürr won the contract among other things because of its innovative short bead application technology. This allows faster and more precise glue application during weld bonding – a combination of welding and gluing.
Through the acquisition of the gluing companies Rickert and Kleinmichel in 2010, Dürr has greatly expanded its range in this technology. The Group offers its customers solutions for all gluing applications in the automotive industry.
The gluing systems ordered by Audi will be used for the body construction of the A4, A5 and Q7 models. Gluing is used for insulating and sealing, but primarily for joining body components. The process is more flexible than conventional welding because it is suitable not only for sheet metal panels but also for modern fibre composites (e.g. carbon fibre). With the aid of gluing technology, therefore, the automotive industry can implement fuel-saving lightweight construction designs using new materials. Gluing also significantly increases the strength of bonded sheet metal panels. This substantially improves the body’s crash safety performance.
The core components of the Dürr gluing systems are the dosing system, application head, adhesive pump and control technology. The application head, which guarantees precise dosing of the adhesive, is positioned with the aid of a robot.
Dürr will equip around half of the 520 gluing systems ordered with its innovative short bead application technology. This works with a servo drive which enables faster opening and closing of the application head than conventional pneumatically operated needle valves and guns. This means that precisely defined gaps can be created in the adhesive bead during the weld bonding process. Spot welds can then be applied in the adhesive-free gaps without “burning” the adhesive. A further benefit is that the short bead application technology significantly accelerates the adhesive application process which reduces the cycle times in body construction.