Electric fail-safe actuators increase availability at automotive press plant

Louise Davis

AUMA electric actuators fitted with FQM fail-safe units are ensuring continuous cooling water supply at Volvo Car Group’s bodywork plant in Olofström, Sweden.

The Volvo Personvagnar AB Karosskomponenter factory makes structural components for Volvo cars. Sheets of steel are heated to up to 950°C before being pressed into shape. The ovens used to heat the panels rely on water-cooling to protect critical parts. Continuous cooling is vital to maintain production and to avoid costly damage.

If the normal cooling system fails, the plant switches to once-through emergency cooling using water from the municipal supply. Changing over to emergency cooling must function even in the event of a power failure.

AUMA therefore supplied two of its popular SQ 07.2 part-turn actuators with AC 01.2 actuator controls and two FQM 07.1 fail-safe units for the cooling system valves.

The innovative FQM fail-safe units use mechanical energy, in the form of a constant-force spring motor, to open or close valves when electric power is not available. They provide torques up to 1,200Nm.

Since the installation,the plant’s emergency cooling system has already been needed once. Volvo reports that the FQM units worked exactly according to plan – thereby avoiding
a costly shutdown of the production line.