Case Study


Automated Turbocharger Refurbishment Assembly Line

The Challenge – Equipment Engineering

Client: Custom Equipment Manufacturer
Objective: Design and build a system to re-build turbochargers

A custom equipment manufacturer needed to design and build a system to rebuild turbochargers.  The used turbochargers need to be inspected, measured and then tracked through the system so that the appropriate parts can be reused or replaced for that model. 

RFID tags

Our Solution

Sterling Engineering provided engineers to design custom equipment to automate the turbocharger’s disassembly, inspection, and reassembly. Sterling’s team worked with the client to develop concepts that delivered the expected performance, cost, and schedule outcomes. Since the client was out of state, Sterling traveled to the client for an initial kick-off meeting, conducted a video conference on design reviews, and used SolidWork’s EPDM vault to check the source date from the client’s vault and all project deliverables. 


The Results

Sterling provided an engineering team to design a production line to automate refurbishing a diesel engine turbocharger. The team designed 8 work cells that allowed the turbocharger to progress through disassembly, inspection, and reassembly operations. The work cells used RFID readers to identify the part/inspection measurements made by the system and dispense the correct components to refurbish the turbocharger at that work cell. The system operated at 51s Takt time and 500 parts/shift. 

Sterling created a complete set of engineering documentation, including fabricated part detail drawings, assembly drawings with bill of material (all fabricated/purchased components), and set-up instructions.

Project Duration

14 Weeks

Project Size

Design $111K
Overall $10M+

Project Team

9 Engineers

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