Manufacture of decorative strips for car windows

AWL-Techniek builds delicate machine for installing decorative strips

Harderwijk, November 2015 – AWL-Techniek has recently built a machine for the manufacture of decorative strips for car windows. It is a unique project combining complexity, extensive robotization and a delicate product.

Until recently, this work had always been performed manually, for the simple reason of the lack of an alternative. It was an expensive and relatively unreliable process. Thanks to its expertise in joining techniques and automation, AWL was asked to develop a machine allowing full automation of the complete process. A world first!

The decorative strips for windows have already received full treatment before being incorporated in the AWL machine and are almost ready to be installed in the car. This still requires attaching a number of assembly clips to the decorative trim. Sounds easy but it is a lot harder than you would think.

In three steps, both the decorative strips and the clips are provided with primer, hardener and glue. Each layer is checked separately for quality. Eventually, each bonded joint consists of 5 process steps. To accelerate the hardening process, the moulds are heated by default.

After the clips have been mounted, the extensions for handling are cut off. This is done in an extremely controlled manner to ensure that as little cutting force as possible is transferred to the strip itself to avoid any damage being caused.

When the decorative strip is ready, it is taken out of the mould under vacuum and provided with a production code. The decorative strip is then put on a conveyor belt. From here, they can be shipped to their final destination for final assembly by the OEMs.

It requires far-reaching automation and the application of refined processing steps, but it is the finishing touch that makes all the difference. AWL expects many more requests for these kinds of applications in the future. “From now on, the cars we build are not only robust and safe but also aesthetically attractive”, says Michel Van den Bor, Project Coordinator at AWL.

This machine enables 430,000 decorative strips a year to be equipped with 5.2 million assembly clips. They are used in three different car models.

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Marlous van de Wiel
Senior Communication Professional
T. +31 (0) 341 411 81