Like ultrasonic welding, Aston Martin's use of digital metering of the adhesive is a refinement in adhesive bonding for aluminum panels.
The process is critically dependent on precision in the mix and amount of the adhesive.
Both the DB9 and the V8 Vantage, due next year, use an aluminum body shell that is assembled and framed around an aluminum chassis supplied by Hydro Automotive of Worcester, England.
The aluminum body panels are positioned around the chassis and then framed at elevated temperatures. The V8 Vantage has a separate framing station from the DB9, even though it uses similar technology. Cycle time is about 26 minutes.
A Kawasaki robot applies the adhesive on each body, roof and deck lid panel using new digital metering technology developed by Failsafe Metering of Kettering, England.
The Failsafe metering system is mounted on the robot arm. It automatically monitors and adjusts the mixture ratio of the adhesive 20 times per second. Digital adhesive monitoring is important to guarantee repeatable and traceable adhesive performance every time the resins are being laid down on the aluminum panels.
The new framing station is being readied for the V8 Vantage, it starts production next year. So far, 31 V8 Vantage prototypes have been built. An additional 19 pre-production and field evaluation cars also will be built.