IBC Vehicles (Luton) inaugurates advanced fully automated press line

Assembly Automation

ISSN: 0144-5154

Article publication date: 1 March 2000

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Citation

(2000), "IBC Vehicles (Luton) inaugurates advanced fully automated press line", Assembly Automation, Vol. 20 No. 1. https://doi.org/10.1108/aa.2000.03320aaf.011

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited


IBC Vehicles (Luton) inaugurates advanced fully automated press line

IBC Vehicles (Luton) inaugurates advanced fully automated press line

Keywords: ABB, Automation

IBC Vehicles has inaugurated a new fully automated press line, which forms part of a £45 million investment programme to comprehensively upgrade the Luton, Bedfordshire, press shop facility (see Plate 9).

The press line consists of five Japanese-designed Komatsu presses, built under licence by the China National Heavy Machinery Corporation, which is one of China's largest companies. They are the first presses supplied by the company into Europe. The press line also employed local UK systems engineering expertise.

Plate 9IBC Vehicles' new fully-automated press line forms part of a £45 million investment programme to comprehensively upgrade the Luton press shop facility

The press line will operate almost continuously over three shifts and over the course of a day can average a net rate of 6,000 small to medium-size stampings, which is considered world-class within the automotive industry for this size and class of machinery. The eight press-tending robots, supplied locally by ABB Flexible Automation, in Milton Keynes, are designed to help the line achieve this high level of throughput.

The automated presses similarly set new standards for health and safety, with large open workspaces surrounding the line, which is fully encapsulated helping to reduce factory noise levels by six decibels.

The IBC press shop produces eight million sheet metal stampings a year. Approximately, half are steel pressings for the Vauxhall and Opel Vectra of which 50 per cent are exported to other GM plants including Germany and Australia. The other half of the press shop's output comprises pressings for the Vauxhall and Opel Frontera, which are assembled at the IBC plant.

IBC Vehicles is a wholly-owned subsidiary of General Motors and a sister company to Vauxhall Motors. IBC was established in Luton in 1987 as a successor company to the previous Bedford van operation.

For more information contact: David Crundwell, +44 (0) 1582 427614.