Viking Plastics, Corry, Pennsylvania, an injection molding and value added assembly service provider to the automotive industry, announced the design and molding of a battery cooling watercross part for the hybrid Jeep Wrangler 4xe.
The hybrid battery assembly consists of a series of batteries located within a large aluminum molded case. Coolant is cycled through channels in the aluminum to cool the batteries. The plastic coolant duct assemblies produced by Viking Plastics are used to link the coolant channels across different areas of the case which must properly align with the case to provide a leak-proof seal on flanges around the coolant openings.
Because the duct assemblies are plastic and mounted with bolts to the aluminum case, Viking Plastics insert molds over stainless steel compression limiters in the molding process. A conventional molding machine integrated with robot and assembly cell is used to perform all the process steps.
Coolant ducts are a multi-piece assembly consisting of an injection molded top and bottom, with the bottom incorporating stainless steel compression limiters that are insert molded. These molded components process through a welder, receive push-in-place seals and undergo leak testing.
Viking Plastics developed family molds for each product style. A robot was integrated to the molding machine and custom end-of-arm tooling (EOAT) was established for each product style. The EOAT interfaces with a custom system that feeds and aligns inserts for the robot to pick up and place into the mold.
Post molding, parts are conveyed to a new Branson vibration welder where the top and bottom are joined together. After welding, parts are processed through a cleaning station and then push-in-place seals are installed to the port openings of the assembly.
The final step in the process uses a leak testing and pokayoke system. Parts are placed in part-specific nests and progress through the testing phases in the equipment before packing and delivery.
Jeep describes the hybrid Wrangler 4xe as “an impressive 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of instant torque for heart-pounding performance off-road and on-road.”
For more information, visit www.vikingplastics.com.