Ordinary people are accustomed to the fact that a modern automobile conveyor either automatically assembles new cars, or people help it, turning the “skeleton” of the body into a complete car. There is an opinion that fully automatic assembly is of much better quality, because today's technologies completely exclude errors during assembly, rather than the human factor (they underwent, forgot to install a part, put a spare part obliquely).
When it comes to premium cars, we hear such a thing as “screwdriver assembly”. Next, let's figure out what the SKD assembly is, how and where the screwdriver assembly of vehicles is used.
What is a screwdriver assembly? In simple words - such an assembly implies the process of SKD assembly of cars that are delivered to the conveyor. For example, to the country where the vehicle will be assembled and sold, the manufacturer sends large pre-assembled units to be assembled at an assembly plant.
There are two types of screwdriver assemblies:
- Semi Knocked Down (semi-disassembled product);
- Сomplete Knock Down (assembly of the disassembled machine set).
The SKD method has long been used in many countries of the world, including the CIS. This method, when a car kit is supplied to the assembly plant, conditionally without wheels, steering wheel and doors, allows to significantly reduce the cost of the final product due to a reduced rate at customs, because the country is not entering a full-fledged self-propelled vehicle, but a large-unit “designer”.
For example: at a car factory BMW, respectively, in Bavaria, the car is assembled, after it is disassembled (doors, power and transmission units, doors are removed), this set is delivered to the Avtotor Kaliningrad assembly plant and the finished product is obtained from the conveyor. Due to the reduced customs rate and relatively cheap labor, foreign-made cars are much more affordable in your country.
Such an assembly format implies not only modular assembly and screwdriver production, but also the assembly of the body frame, that is, the welding of finished panels together. Here, panels are stamped, welded, painted and the car is completely assembled.
The meaning of this format is that the cost of the car is significantly reduced, since it is assembled in your country. For example: at the Russian plant in Kaluga there is a full-fledged Volkswagen plant, where cars are assembled from scratch. In the end, a product is obtained that is much lower in cost than the same analogue from Germany.
Car assembly process
The assembly process of a unit-by-unit assembly of a car is as follows:
- The assembly plant is supplied with machine kits and prepared for subsequent assembly.
- The body goes through visual diagnostics for damage.
- The body is moved from the pallet to the conveyor, and the components are also unpacked and prepared.
- The process of distributing components to the appropriate places takes place: fasteners, plastic, decorative elements are sorted into different places. Suspension parts are installed on a special platform on which the brake system is mounted to the chassis.
- Next, the body is connected to the chassis, the so-called "wedding" takes place. The process is the most difficult and responsible, but it is given the appropriate time.
- Now all the wiring is connected, brake lines and pipes are mounted, the tightness is checked, after which the cars are filled with technical fluids.
- The last step is quality control of the assembly. In the CIS, this is called the quality control department, all systems of the car are checked here, the quality and reliability of the assembly are checked using electronic systems. The car from the conveyor goes to a special track, where natural driving on various surfaces is simulated in order to make sure that all components and assemblies are working.
An extreme test is carried out on the tightness of the body and the quality of the paintwork, called "water".
When is SKD or CKD used?
One or another type of assembly is used in two cases:
- reduce the cost of the final product for other consumer countries;
- expand the geography of production;
- for the collecting country, these are new jobs and additional investments.