Bringing Automotive Manufacturing Back to USA


Air-Bearing Machining Work Cell for Auto Manufacturing

A leading manufacturer of OEM automotive parts contracted ABTech to design and manufacture a turnkey work cell to solve an international sourcing logistics problem. Increasingly tighter part tolerances on transmission parts were becoming more difficult to achieve through typical off-shore sourcing channels.

ABTech was called upon to develop a combination metrology and machining system that would measure valve shaft components and then machine precisely matched corresponding sleeves. Piece part cost concerns meant the system had to efficiently produce parts with high throughput and low scrap rate requirements in addition to being very accurate.

These air-bearing-based metrology and 2-axis lathe work cells began producing sellable inventory on the day of installation, bringing their automotive manufacturing back to the US.

Work Cell Features:

  • ABTech air bearing lathe and metrology work cellMetrology station with:
    • Vertical Z axis motorized linear air bearing column
    • Counterbalance pulley with air bearing sleeve
    • Motorized air bearing rotary table with part holding chuck
    • High accuracy non-contact laser micrometer
  • Machining station with:
    • Stacked X and Y-axis motorized linear air-bearing stage
    • High-speed air bearing spindle with pneumatic collet
    • Granite surface plate with vibration isolation airbag base
  • Controller includes:
    • Delta Tau motion controller
    • Industrial PC with application software
    • Operator control panel with remote pendant