One would expect that manufacturers and users of sheet metal and welding systems would prefer to use metallic materials in their machines. However, when it comes to fixing the sheets and assemblies in automated welding lines, avoiding the use of (hardened) metal has definite advantages. Because in these applications, ceramic centring pins have a service life that is up to 40 times longer. For this reason, DOCERAM has expanded its CERAZUR range of centring pins made of blue high-performance ceramic.
The first reason for the extended service life of the ceramic centring pins is due to the extreme durability and impact strength of high-performance ceramic. With the very short cycle times of automated production lines such as car body assembly, hardened metal centring pins quickly become deformed and worn. Components made of Cerazur, a yttrium-stabilized zirconium oxide, stay geometrically stable even when undergoing extreme mechanical stress.
The second advantage of ceramic is that welding spatters do not stick to it. This avoids interrupting production because of a defective welding caused by the build-up of material. This means that when Cerazur centring pins are used in the manufacturing line, the positioning accuracy is guaranteed for long periods.
In automated, short-cycle industries like car body manufacturing; this particular advantage outweighs the additional cost of high-performance ceramic. And this applies not only to welding lines, but also for other types of assembly, like flanging and clinching.
All these reasons have led major automotive manufacturers to rely on Cerazur centring pins and to benefit from their technical and economic advantages. They either use the pins that DOCERAM offer in many different assemblies and forms or they use the complete welding electrodes consisting of a base electrode, a screwed-on change electrode and a compressed-air controlled centring pin made of ceramic.
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