One of the greatest challenges in vehicle manufacturing is joining drive shafts to the wheel housing. For this reason, for high-torque connections that are relevant to safety, the central nut is automatically caulked into a notch of the axle stub to guarantee a friction and form-locking connection. Moreover, the automated process has an ergonomic advantage over manual caulking with a chisel.
The caulking station is made up of the following main component groups:
The connection that is to be caulked is localised with mechanical or optical searching systems. The caulking chisel, which has been optimized for this task, is applied in the exact position and at the correct angle. The caulking process itself is force-stroke monitored. Depending on the technical requirements, the piece is caulked on only one side, or both.
The result is then verified with a camera system, as loose connections or caulked joints that could partially come off are a safety hazard. For traceability purposes, all data is saved.
AuE caulking stations are predominantly used with high torques to securely fasten the central nut to lorry and passenger car axles (e.g. for the C-Class or E-Class models) at Daimler AG.