Inflator and Gas Guide Assembly

InvotecCase Study, Mechanical Assembly Systems, Test Systems

dial system

Designed and installed new manufacturing process equipment to align and assemble airbag inflators with gas guides using sound ergonomic principles and in-process checks to verify that all components in the assembly complied with rigid quality standards.


Our customer needed to attach an airbag inflator to the gas guide. This product was required to withstand high pressure in operation. The assembly process would need to reliably join these parts and it was key to the success of this critical automotive safety component.

Our customer desired equipment that aligned and assembled these components using sound ergonomic principles and in-process checks to verify that all components in the assembly complied with their customer’s rigid quality standards.


In this process, airbag inflators and gas guides are manually loaded, unloaded and automatically crimped to secure the assembly while maintaining the correct orientation between components.

Our custom designed solution included a crimping tool operated with cam motion that used force and distance in-process monitoring. Inflators are then loaded vertically into a fixture that automatically accommodates length variations with a servo adjusted elevator. A second servo motor in the fixture is used to adjust the radial orientation of the inflator twice during each cycle, once to align it with the gas guide and a second time to position it for automatic labeling. The clear area above the crimp tooling allows gas guides with many configurations to be assembled on the inflator with minimal fixture adjustments.

Custom cam profile designs were generated to evenly crimp gas guides, pneumatically advanced tooling provides a method to control reject handling, and the control system includes an Allen Bradley PLC and PanelView operator interface terminal.


This cam operated crimp tool generated a controlled motion to secure the gas guide to the Inflator with a reliable and repeatable process. Servo controlled motions were integrated in the inflator fixture to accommodate the multiple lengths and clocking requirements for the various models, each with left hand and right hand variations. The improvements in reduced force, setup, tool wear and crimp consistently allowed the customer to easily and reliably deliver this life saving product to their customer.

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