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Changing the Future of End-of-Line Testing with Robotic Tool Changers
For more than 30 years Fori Automation has delivered leading-edge automation solutions for heavy industrial applications. Fori specializes in designing, manufacturing, and integrating complete automation systems for material handling, assembly, welding, and testing within the automotive, aerospace, and defense industries.

A large portion of Fori’s business involves End-of-Line Testing systems. The systems provide quality assurance and validate the functionality of each unit before it reaches the customer. In many cases, End-of-Line Systems employ routine inspection criteria that are evaluated on a pass/fail basis, which makes them ideal for robotic automation. Transitioning from manual to automated processes increases accuracy and quality, plus ensures greater throughput for OEMs.

Fori recently transformed an automotive OEM’s Wheel Alignment System from multiple manual processes to a single system using FANUC robots and ATI’s Heavy Duty Tool Changers. The System includes a group of distinct processes: headlamp aiming, 3D wheel alignment, and vehicle toe settings, for three different suspension configurations. As each vehicle enters the Wheel Alignment System, the robots are programmed to select the appropriate tooling for that unique suspension configuration and begin work. Once complete, the vehicle exits the platform and the next one enters. The ability to automatically change tooling gearheads with ATI’s Tool Changers gives the customer the option to run multiple wheel configurations with one system, thereby reducing cycle times as well as tooling and labor costs.

Payload and functionality are the critical factors to optimize this system. Fori needed robust equipment to support the high payload requirements of the application, and a way to connect a wide array of utilities. ATI’s Heavy Duty Tool Changers are strong enough to handle the weight of the tooling, and provide a high factor-of-safety. The patented locking mechanism ensures that the master and tool stay coupled throughout the process. The high repeatability and durability of the ATI Tool Changers along with the broad variety of ATI’s Utility Modules gives integrators the flexibility to design the best solution for each unique application. ATI’s Engineering Group worked closely with Fori to develop a custom configuration for the Wheel Alignment System. “The tool changers needed to accommodate DC nut runners, pneumatics, system I/O, and servos. Through the collaboration of the ATI and Fori Automation design teams, we were able to engineer a solution which met all of our project needs,” states Fori Account Manager Mark VanHaverbeck.

ATI products are low maintenance and designed to work precisely for long production runs. This complements Fori’s integration methodology; they work with their customers from the inception of their project throughout its entire life cycle. Having a supplier like ATI, who shares this philosophy, guarantees quality and reliability for Fori and their customers.

The integration of ATI’s Tool Changer products with the Wheel Alignment System has led to substantial savings of time and money and helped this customer realize the total value of their investment. Many of Fori’s OEM customers still perform Wheel Alignment tasks by hand, and could reap numerous benefits from this type of system. Fori believes that continued success of this process improvement will make the Automated Wheel Alignment System a standard for their OEM customers in the future.

Click here for more information on Fori Automation.

Click here for more information on our Robotic Tool Changers.




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1031 Goodworth Dr. | Apex, NC 27539 USA
Phone:+1 919-772-0115 | Fax:+1 919-772-8259
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