As society progresses and develops, car ownership as an aspiration becomes increasingly pronounced among individuals. An average consumer would typically research a car’s functional factors – external form, engine performance, fuel consumption – and seek a first-hand experience in the car before making a buying decision.
Few car buyers are aware that the comfort provided by the car seat plays a crucial role in the car selection process. Beyond that, car seats also significantly impact passenger safety in the event of an accident. For these reasons, car seat manufacturers enforce stringent requirements on their production processes.
Chongqing Yanfeng Johnson Controls Automotive Components Co. (originally Chongqing Yanfeng Johnson Controls Seating Co., Ltd., hereafter referred to as YFJC) is one such company that has conducted profound research into the development and production of car seats.
Premises of Chongqing Yanfeng Johnson Controls Automotive Components Co., Ltd.
Commitment to Health & Safety
Established in 2003, YFJC is a joint venture involving U.S.- based Johnson Controls Inc., Shanghai Yanfeng Johnson Controls Seating Co., Ltd., and Chongqing Boao Industrial Co., Ltd. The company supplies complete sets of car seats to automotive companies such as Changan-Ford, Volvo, Changan-Suzuki, Changan, Changan-Peugeot-Citroen. Manufacturing for them on a long term basis, YFJC continuously exceeds the ever-growing requirements of its customers with constant technological improvements.
The car seat is an automotive part that not only provides comfort, but also offers safety benefits to the passenger when a car suffers any collision in an accident. Its main function is to support the human body, mitigate the impact from uneven roads, and to reduce any vibrations that the driver or passengers may experience, providing comfortable and safe riding conditions, as well as superior handling.
The FaroArm deployed at YFJC’s shopfloor, right where inspection of entire car seats take place.
To ensure that car seats meet these complex technical requirements, YFJC put in place an advanced quality management system for the design and production of its car seats right from the beginning.
A 13-year Journey with Seven Units of FaroArm
Since investing in its first FaroArm in 2003, YFJC has gone on to purchase more units of FaroArm for its other facilities. Today, the company has in total seven sets of FaroArm across the country. Mr. Liu Junliang, Laboratory Director from the Quality Department at YFJC shared, “We have two sets of equipment here in our Chongqing headquarters, and a set each for our factories in Daqing, Nanchang, Harbin, Chengdu, and Dongguan.”
The FaroArm is a portable coordinate measuring machine (CMM) of the articulated arm variety. Equipped with several articulating joints, the FaroArm offers an operator complete versatility when obtaining measurements. Encoders within the arm determine and record the location of the spherical probe in 3D space, and report the results through software. Users can see ‘live’ measurement results on screen as data is being collected, and the FaroArm’s in-built counterbalance system provides effortless, stress-free usage. Commenting on his team’s experience with the device, Mr. Liu emphasized, “We believe that the best use of the FaroArm lies in its speed and convenience.”
A staff member of YFJC performing measurements with the FaroAm.
Precise Control of Production Processes
In order to ensure product quality, YFJC keeps close tabs of every aspect of the car seat manufacturing process, imposing tight controls on appropriate criterion of detection for the seat frame, foam, cover, and assembly. The FaroArm is used mainly in the inspection of the components and the assembly of the seat frame.
The accuracy of the size and profile of single parts – including stamping parts, wires, and plastic parts – directly affect the precision of the assembly, as well as the functionality of the car seats. Every step of the way, from subassembly to assembly, inspection is necessary after each welding session to ensure that design requirements are adhered to, and that comfort, position, and recline of the entire seat is satisfactory.
Measurement results collected by the FaroArm are clearly presented in easy-to-read visuals on the FARO CAM2 Software.
By placing the FaroArm’s contact probe on pre-selected measurement points, an operator can easily obtain the size and profile data of a component, as well as gather key pieces of information such as the H-point, curvature, position, and profile tolerance, giving the YFJC team a basis for the next production process. If the team had relied on a fixed CMM or hand tool, it would have been unable to meet the production demands. Fixed CMMs are limited in terms of the angles with which inspections can be performed (even though highly accurate), while hand tools are replete with human error.
In contrast, FARO integrates the best of both worlds, providing versatility and accuracy. With six axes of rotation, the portable and compact FaroArm allows the user to measure freely, probing any desired measuring points.
Good Partner for Quality Control
For YFJC, the measuring range for its car seats is within 1.2 m for front seats and between 1.2 - 1.3 m for back passenger seats, with a requirement on accuracy levels of ± 0.3mm. The team mainly uses the FaroArm for routine measurements, but the YFJC Measurement Laboratory is also equipped with a bridge-type fixed CMM.
Comparing the fixed CMM and FARO’s portable CMMs, Mr. Liu expressed, “Relative to the portable coordinate measuring machine, the advantages of the bridge coordinate measuring machine are its high stability and accuracy. The disadvantage, however, is that the cost, operator’s skill, environmental requirements, and maintenance requirements are also relatively higher. Therefore, we will select the appropriate measurement tool according to our measurement requirements. Conversely, the advantages of a portable coordinate measuring machine are its portability, easy installation, relatively lower operational requirements for the personnel, and relatively quick measuring speed. For these reasons, the probability of our staff using the FaroArm in routine measurement and installation is very high. It has helped us to solve a lot of quality verification issues and FARO is an indispensable partner.”
YFJC’s Laboratory is responsible for handling inspection work for four local factories. As such, the FaroArm is used practically every day, for 5 - 6 hours on an average. Besides its deployment in the laboratory, the FaroArm is also used on the shop floor, as well as at customers’ sites during product delivery. In that way, the portable CMM meets a variety of YFJC’s measurement needs with ease.
Speaking of future collaborations, Mr. Liu indicated his satisfaction with FARO’s devices as well as the aftersales and training services provided by FARO. YFJC is
delighted to maintain this excellent relationship.
YFJC in a training session with FARO’s application engineer.
About Chongqing Yanfeng Johnson Controls Automotive Components Co., Ltd. (YFJC)
Established in 2003, Chongqing Yanfeng Johnson Controls Automotive Components Co., Ltd. (originally Chongqing Yanfeng Johnson Controls Seating Co., Ltd.) is a joint venture involving U.S.-based Johnson Controls Inc., Shanghai Yanfeng Johnson Controls Seating Co., Ltd., and Chongqing Boao Industrial Co., Ltd. The company supplies complete sets of car seats to automotive companies such as Changan-Ford, Volvo, Changan-Suzuki, Changan, Changan-Peugeot-Citroen. Manufacturing for them on a long term basis, YFJC continuously exceeds the ever-growing requirements of its customers with constant technological improvements.