case study: hose assembly module
accelerating development of a mission-critical
hose assembly module
Our semiconductor customer wishes to focus on his core competencies and outsource everything else. Now Aalberts advanced mechatronics’ hose assembly not only saves him time but also costs.
Aalberts advanced mechatronics had been supplying this customer with a wide array of pre-shaped hose assemblies, hose bundles, and hose connection materials for many years. The customer had himself sourced numerous parts from elsewhere, putting everything together to form a complex submodule. In the high-tech configuration he builds, the hose assembly is designed to supply and drain water, (extra-clean) compressed air and nitrogen, and to provide vacuum . In addition, it is of considerable importance that the submodule fits in the limited space available and that all connections are durable and reliably leakproof. It also needs to be easy to make and, of course, available on time.
Now the customer would rather focus on developing things closer to his core technology, with which he can distinguish himself in his market. Aalberts advanced mechatronics turned out to be the strategic partner the customer was looking for, by taking over the industrialization, the assembly and the qualification of the submodule.
One crucial factor was to provide clear instructions to six of our suppliers based on the customer’s specifications. Where the manufacturability of the hoses, manifolds, or other components could be improved, we liaised between the suppliers and the customer. Thus iteratively coming up with parts that precisely met the customer’s requirements, yet were better and cheaper to manufacture. And faster. In this way Aalberts advanced mechatronics can provide the flexibility the customer needs to properly serve his volatile market.
Moreover, Aalberts Advanced Mechatronics teamed up with the customer to jointly develop and drastically improve the way of connecting the manifolds to the hoses using pillar interfaces. The original technical product documentation specified that crimping metal rings were to be put on manually. We developed a custom automated crimping tool that presses a ring around the connector and the hose exerting exactly the right force. As the crimp connection is critical, we made provisions to constantly measure and analyze the output by SPC. By doing so, we are able to monitor the process and react proactively. This has resulted in a 50% shorter processing time and an increase in yield from 94 to 99+ per cent. What’s more, the connection takes up far less room than previously.
Project manager Hose Assembly Aalberts advanced mechatronics Gerlof Hoogland: “So we developed a tool that allows us to apply the crimping metal rings mechanically, and thus faster and more reliably.”
Aalberts advanced mechatronics is now supplying the hose assembly to the customer’s satisfaction: precisely in line with the specifications, thoroughly tested, easy to incorporate, always exactly on time and at lower costs than before.
Together with our customer we constantly focus on developing the next-generation hose assembly module. As good is not good enough, we are relentless in our quest to extend the boundaries of our technologies.