Over-moulded Lumbar Structure
William Hughes has been helping a prominent European car manufacturer develop an over-moulded carrier plate and wire frame for use as the backrest on the driver and passenger seats in its range of saloon cars and SUVs.
What started out ten years ago as a reasonably simple wire assembly project involving only wires with a plastic backplate pressed into them has evolved, with William Hughes’s expert guidance, into a much more sophisticated over-moulded assembly with a pressed bracket. This achieves a number of benefits including cost savings and reduced assembly time.
Production has now moved to Bulgaria where William Hughes has created an additional fully automated robotic cell dedicated to this assembly at its factory in Plovdiv. The robot takes the wire after bending and presents it to the press which then assembles the bracket.
The lumbar structure, which is made from 5mm galvanised spring steel over-moulded in polypropylene, supports various holes for wires and a fan vent along with clips to position wires and tubes which hold a plastic air bag in place while facilitating controls for a massage function.
In the beginning, the production run amounted to 70,000 parts but such has been the efficacy of the overall operation that William Hughes is now producing 700,000 units per annum.