Patent Number: 8,015,688

Title: Method and apparatus for hemming and sealing a joint

Abstract: An apparatus and method is provided for hemming together a pair of panels and immediately sealing the hemmed joint against the intrusion of moisture. A tool mount is attached to a multi-axis manipulator such as a robot for moving the tool mount along the edge portions of the panels. A hemming roller is mounted on the tool mount and adapted to be moved along the edge portions of the panels by the multi axis manipulator to fold the flanged edge portion of the outer panel onto the edge portion of inner panel as the tool mount traverses the edge portions of the panels. A sealing mechanism is mounted on the tool mount adjacent to the hemming roller to seal the hemmed joint immediately after the flanged edge portion is folded onto the inner panel. The sealing mechanism may be a dispenser of adhesive sealer or a friction stir welder.

Inventors: Chen; Yen-Lung (Troy, MI), Carsley; John E. (Clinton Township, MI), Verbrugge; Mark W. (Troy, MI), Gayden; Xiaohong Q. (West Bloomfield, MI)

Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC

International Classification: B23P 11/00 (20060101)

Expiration Date: 2019-09-13 0:00:00