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Faster Freight Truck Assembly

( 04/17/2019 ) Written by: Angela Zambanini

Data on sales of commercial trucks and vans, collected through 2018 by the Association for the Work Truck Industry (NTEA), show that vehicle sales increase each year. Increased sales mean increased production. Is your facility keeping up?

Read on for two success stories that show it is possible to meet the growing demand for commercial trucks, while improving process efficiency using structural adhesives.

Eliminate Extra Steps

One of my Canadian customers sells dry vans and other freight vehicles. For years they used a slow-curing adhesive to bond wall panels together. The adhesive was labor-intensive, too. It required cleaning the substrate, priming, then applying an activator (to increase cure speed and improve adhesion) prior to applying the adhesive itself. In all, it took six hours for a panel to move on to its next step in production. This meant the company could only produce one truck per day.

After adopting LORD® 810 Low Read-Through (LRT) acrylic adhesive, the company increased that number to four trucks per day—quadrupling production! Structural adhesives such as LORD 810 quickly develop handling strength and they are convenient to use, requiring little or no substrate preparation for bonding metals and plastics. LORD 810 also provides an aesthetic finish, reducing or eliminating bondline read-through, and it’s environmentally- and temperature-resistant.

Improve Design Efficiency and Safety

Another customer makes service trucks. One feature that is popular on these trucks is diamond plate, a metal sheet product that is stamped with a repeating pattern of lines or shapes. It provides a protective, non-slip surface when installed on trucks.

Diamond plate is functional—and attractive—so pieces are often customized for a variety of applications on many different truck styles. The pieces have traditionally been attached with bolts. However, as alterations occur during the design phase, this can impact the project schedule. Bolt placements must be re-engineered and redrawn every time a customer requests a design change, costing time and money. Using a structural adhesive, such as LORD 810, eliminates that problem. Diamond plate of any shape can be attached simply, without engineering bolted connections.

There’s another advantage in bonding diamond plate to a vehicle: safety. When holes are drilled to accommodate mechanical fasteners, rotating drill bits and the tools’ power-transmission devices can pose a hazard. The Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OSHA) even includes drill equipment in its literature on protecting employees from amputations.

Structural adhesives offer truck manufacturers a simple way to improve assembly processes, shorten delivery time and even create a safer jobsite. I collaborate with my customers to find the right product that best fits the application and help integrate that product into their assembly process.

Angela Zambanini

Angela is an Account Manager for LORD Corporation, focusing on structural adhesives in industrial markets.

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