7/3/2019 | 1 MINUTE READ

Lasers in Parma

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To say that the GM Parma Metal Center is instrumental in the production of assembly and stampings for the OEM would be a huge understatement: at the 2.3-million ft2 facility the team processes over 1,000 tons of steel per day.

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To say that the GM Parma Metal Center is instrumental in the production of assembly and stampings for the OEM would be to make a huge understatement: at the 2.3-million ft2 facility the team processes over 1,000 tons of steel per day. The facility is capable of producing up to 100-million parts per year. Among the vehicles that it supplies stampings and assemblies for are the Chevy Silverado, GMC Sierra, Chevy Tahoe and Suburban, GMC Yukon and Yukon XL, Chevy Colorado, GMC Canyon—which pretty much account for the biggest-selling vehicles in GM’s fleet—and an array of Cadillacs—Escalade, XT5, XT6, CT6—as well as other Chevy, Buick and GMC products.

Although GM shut down the Lordstown Assembly plant in March, in May it announced that it is investing some $700-million in three other Ohio-based plants, DMAX in Moraine to increase production of diesel engines for its new heavy-duty pickups; Toledo Transmission to expand 10-speed truck and SUV transmission manufacture; and at Parma for increasing the output of stampings and assemblies.

They produce parts with both steel and aluminum.

What is notable about the investment in Parma is that it is the only one of the three where a specific technology is noted: laser cell welding technology.

They’re no strangers to laser welding at Parma. Among the subassemblies, for example, that are produced with the process include roof rails, roof headers and center pillars.

The new cells, which will have a common architecture, will be based on six-axis robots for manipulating the welder.

When asked about the advantages of laser welding for the applications, the answer has multiple aspects, including: the ability to perform welding at a distance of up to 1 meter from the parts; fast throughput, with a speed on the order of 0.5 to 1 second per weld; no filler metal required; the ability to weld both coated and uncoated material; and the ability to perform single-side welding, which means that there are not the issues associated with weld gun clearances and closed-out welding conditions.--GSV

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