Why It Works
Part Art. Part Science. All In.

The reason our model works is because we never stop working. Put simply, we believe good enough isn’t, and short cuts lead to dead ends. Our mantra is to constantly aim higher. Do better. Deliver more. Continually improve: In knowledge, in capabilities, in quality.

That’s what the Piston Group is all about. For us, success is all about setting high standards, and then achieving them. We have earned a national reputation for product and process excellence, and have gained the respect and confidence of our clients. But no matter how good a job we’re doing today, we’re sure of one thing: we can do a better job tomorrow.

Every day, we work to improve our service, our product quality, our efficiency, and our performance, continually adapting what we do in order to be a little bit better.

And we can proudly say it: We are better. For us, excellence is an all-in commitment. We sweat the details, do whatever it takes, and honor every promise we make. Because we know we won’t have your business if we don’t have your back.

For us, there are no small parts, no small projects, no unimportant details. Our purpose is the pursuit of perfection.

Excellence in Execution. This is what we build.

Battery Assembly

One of our key customers made the strategic decision late in the product development cycle to change direction and internally design and develop an all-new High Voltage Electric Battery system. By taking over the design and integration, our customer was able to leverage its technical expertise to ensure a robust and advanced system was introduced to the market. Also by employing this strategy of designing and integrating all of the components, they could use their purchasing power to strategically source all the individual component suppliers globally to minimize cost…one of the key parts of this strategy was to identify a process expert to deliver a high quality and robust assembly and testing process that met their strict technical needs. This is where Piston came into the picture.

Our challenge was to develop a robust, production ready technologically advanced assembly and testing process for an all new High Voltage Battery system in less than 9 months

  • An advanced assembly process that starts with the processing of Lithium Ion cells into liquid cooled modules that are ultrasonically plastic and metal welded, electrically tested for functionality and charged to customer specifications and eventually assembled into two highly complex battery pack assemblies that are fully tested  for function and performance
  • Zone 1 – Module Processing – Fully automated robotically integrated module assembly
  • Zone 2 – Module Weld and Test – Highly automated with functional testing integrated throughout; including leak testing, welding, charging and testing
  • Zone 3 and 4 – Pack Assembly and Verification – Complex combination of two power and free conveyor systems with several offline subassembly processes. Full testing, charging, complex error proofing, and material handling solutions integrated throughout

  • Automated high speed cell processing – robots handling cells at a 1.5 second cycle time
  • Complex cell tab bending and module stacking
  • Advanced metal ultrasonic welding development significantly improving weld quality and performance at a dramatically lower cost than initially conceived
  • Robust testing and charging systems delivering defect free modules to the customer
  • Functional testing systems integrated throughout pack assembly
  • An advanced and robust pack assembly process that delivered automotive industry standards and product quality in less than 9 months from kick-off
  • Successful launch of products for North America and Europe

Instrument Panel

Designing a global platform can be challenging when the need arises for a regionally supplied module delivered in sequence within a few hours from the time of customer order. One of our customers tackled this issue by tasking the Piston team to develop a solution for assembling an all new instrument panel for a global van application in North America using our latest assembly, testing and sequencing solutions.

Our challenge was to develop an assembly and testing solution to deliver the heart of the interior system, the micropit, for a global platform with unique regional requirements. The product had to meet strict assembly, dimensional, testing and appearance requirements within a short 3 hour window using material from sources globally.

  • An advanced assembly process that allows Piston to build product in sequence from an early customer trigger that utilizes a multi-loop power and free conveyance system with custom engineered trunions that allows a mix of complex manual assembly, robotic handling and integration, custom designed material handling and functional testing and error proofing.
  • Once assembled, the parts are stored in an advanced storage retrieval system to provide our customer the ability to reshuffle vehicles in their process after the vehicles are painted and still allow Piston to deliver a high quality instrument panel in sequence within the limited broadcast window.

  • Robotic integration that allows automatic unloading of class A surface instrument panel skins from custom designed steel racks to our assembly line
  • Automated instrument panel trimming in sequence to allow build variant flexibility without increasing complexity for the instrument panel skin
  • Custom designed instrument panel skin and full instrument panel trunions / build fixtures
  • Custom engineered material handling and offline subassembly fixtures to handle the product throughout the various stages of the assembly process
  • Fully integrated error proofing solutions including two unique high speed vision systems to detect assembly and pass through defects, continuity testing systems to validate electrical systems, and an end of line vision inspection system to document key appearance characteristics of the product
  • An integrated advanced storage retrieval system that allows Piston to build and store over 250 finished assemblies prior to final customer broadcasts
  • Custom designed, developed and tested outbound packaging solution meeting our strict customer requirements for part density and presentation
  • Successful launch of product in North America

Grille Module Assembly

Continued technological advances required to deliver improved fuel economy in the truck segment created a challenge for one of our customer partners. The use of an Active Grille Shutter for a new vehicle required their engineering team to come up with a module system that allowed for in sequence delivery of newly created Grille Modules to two of their assembly plants.

Our challenge was to create an all new assembly and testing solution to deliver an adjustable grille module assembly with an integrated active grille shutter, emblem, wiring, and sensors, and with an optional camera and washer system in sequence to two customer plants in the United States.

  • Two identical assembly solutions using power and free conveyance with custom engineered assembly fixtures and pallets designed for class A surfaces
  • Engineered offline subassembly equipment to meet grille and active shutter preassembly requirements
  • Custom integrated grille to shutter trend set fixturing

  • Advanced presequecing solutions with custom designed material handling solutions that allows for optimal material flow to the assembly line to manage extremely high levels of grille complexity – the customization our customer requires in their product
  • Engineered shutter to grille trend set fixturing that allows for dimensional control to minimize front end fit issues at the customer plants
  • Customized torque systems and controls to manage complex and often challenging torque requirements
  • High speed, high definition vision inspection and inline electrical continuity test systems developed and launched by our in house controls experts to ensure defect free product to our customer
  • Complex gaging systems to allow quick and simple measurements of key system dimensions to ensure a perfect fit in the vehicle at all times
  • Successful launches of product in two regions within the United States

Cooling Module Assembly

Our largest product segment often produces some of our most challenging projects and this case was no different. Our current customer redesigned an all new truck platform with an all new cooling module / front end module system that was completely new to the one that we already supplied.

Our challenge was to create a highly engineered, cost effective, high volume all new cooling module / front end module assembly process that allowed for integrated assembly of old and new product simultaneously at two customer plants in the United States.

  • An integrated multi loop power and free conveyor solution that allowed for maximized reuse of existing capital equipment with all new custom designed and engineering pallet fixtures capable of producing over 350,000 modules from each line annually
  • All new offline front end bolster subassembly systems with customized hood latch trend set capabilities
  • New overhead mounted high speed vision inspection systems for in process and end of line inspection and product validation
  • All new custom engineering subassembly and material  handling equipment

  • Power and free assembly solution that allowed for seamless integrated  build of new and old module assemblies at a rate of nearly 80 jobs per hour
  • Custom engineered bolster subassembly fixture that allows precise and capable hood latch trend setting
  • Customized torque and error proofing systems and controls delivering  on all key customer requirements
  • Improved high speed, high definition vision inspection using overhead mounting systems to allow for 360 degree access to product to ensure  defect free product to our customer
  • Engineered gaging systems to allow for quick and accurate measurements  of hood latch vehicle positions to ensure proper hood fit and functionality
  • Successful launches of product in two regions within the United States

Battery Assembly

One of our key customers made the strategic decision late in the product development cycle to change direction and internally design and develop an all-new High Voltage Electric Battery system. By taking over the design and integration, our customer was able to leverage its technical expertise to ensure a robust and advanced system was introduced to the market. Also by employing this strategy of designing and integrating all of the components, they could use their purchasing power to strategically source all the individual component suppliers globally to minimize cost…one of the key parts of this strategy was to identify a process expert to deliver a high quality and robust assembly and testing process that met their strict technical needs. This is where Piston came into the picture.

Battery Assembly

Our challenge was to develop a robust, production ready technologically advanced assembly and testing process for an all new High Voltage Battery system in less than 9 months

Battery Assembly
  • An advanced assembly process that starts with the processing of Lithium Ion cells into liquid cooled modules that are ultrasonically plastic and metal welded, electrically tested for functionality and charged to customer specifications and eventually assembled into two highly complex battery pack assemblies that are fully tested  for function and performance
  • Zone 1 – Module Processing – Fully automated robotically integrated module assembly
  • Zone 2 – Module Weld and Test – Highly automated with functional testing integrated throughout; including leak testing, welding, charging and testing
  • Zone 3 and 4 – Pack Assembly and Verification – Complex combination of two power and free conveyor systems with several offline subassembly processes. Full testing, charging, complex error proofing, and material handling solutions integrated throughout
Battery Assembly
  • Automated high speed cell processing – robots handling cells at a 1.5 second cycle time
  • Complex cell tab bending and module stacking
  • Advanced metal ultrasonic welding development significantly improving weld quality and performance at a dramatically lower cost than initially conceived
  • Robust testing and charging systems delivering defect free modules to the customer
  • Functional testing systems integrated throughout pack assembly
  • An advanced and robust pack assembly process that delivered automotive industry standards and product quality in less than 9 months from kick-off
  • Successful launch of products for North America and Europe
Instrument Panel

Designing a global platform can be challenging when the need arises for a regionally supplied module delivered in sequence within a few hours from the time of customer order. One of our customers tackled this issue by tasking the Piston team to develop a solution for assembling an all new instrument panel for a global van application in North America using our latest assembly, testing and sequencing solutions.

Instrument Panel

Our challenge was to develop an assembly and testing solution to deliver the heart of the interior system, the micropit, for a global platform with unique regional requirements. The product had to meet strict assembly, dimensional, testing and appearance requirements within a short 3 hour window using material from sources globally.

Instrument Panel
  • An advanced assembly process that allows Piston to build product in sequence from an early customer trigger that utilizes a multi-loop power and free conveyance system with custom engineered trunions that allows a mix of complex manual assembly, robotic handling and integration, custom designed material handling and functional testing and error proofing.
  • Once assembled, the parts are stored in an advanced storage retrieval system to provide our customer the ability to reshuffle vehicles in their process after the vehicles are painted and still allow Piston to deliver a high quality instrument panel in sequence within the limited broadcast window.
Instrument Panel
  • Robotic integration that allows automatic unloading of class A surface instrument panel skins from custom designed steel racks to our assembly line
  • Automated instrument panel trimming in sequence to allow build variant flexibility without increasing complexity for the instrument panel skin
  • Custom designed instrument panel skin and full instrument panel trunions / build fixtures
  • Custom engineered material handling and offline subassembly fixtures to handle the product throughout the various stages of the assembly process
  • Fully integrated error proofing solutions including two unique high speed vision systems to detect assembly and pass through defects, continuity testing systems to validate electrical systems, and an end of line vision inspection system to document key appearance characteristics of the product
  • An integrated advanced storage retrieval system that allows Piston to build and store over 250 finished assemblies prior to final customer broadcasts
  • Custom designed, developed and tested outbound packaging solution meeting our strict customer requirements for part density and presentation
  • Successful launch of product in North America
Grille Module Assembly

Continued technological advances required to deliver improved fuel economy in the truck segment created a challenge for one of our customer partners. The use of an Active Grille Shutter for a new vehicle required their engineering team to come up with a module system that allowed for in sequence delivery of newly created Grille Modules to two of their assembly plants.

Grille Module Assembly

Our challenge was to create an all new assembly and testing solution to deliver an adjustable grille module assembly with an integrated active grille shutter, emblem, wiring, and sensors, and with an optional camera and washer system in sequence to two customer plants in the United States.

Grille Module Assembly
  • Two identical assembly solutions using power and free conveyance with custom engineered assembly fixtures and pallets designed for class A surfaces
  • Engineered offline subassembly equipment to meet grille and active shutter preassembly requirements
  • Custom integrated grille to shutter trend set fixturing
Grille Module Assembly
  • Advanced presequecing solutions with custom designed material handling solutions that allows for optimal material flow to the assembly line to manage extremely high levels of grille complexity – the customization our customer requires in their product
  • Engineered shutter to grille trend set fixturing that allows for dimensional control to minimize front end fit issues at the customer plants
  • Customized torque systems and controls to manage complex and often challenging torque requirements
  • High speed, high definition vision inspection and inline electrical continuity test systems developed and launched by our in house controls experts to ensure defect free product to our customer
  • Complex gaging systems to allow quick and simple measurements of key system dimensions to ensure a perfect fit in the vehicle at all times
  • Successful launches of product in two regions within the United States
Cooling Module Assembly

Our largest product segment often produces some of our most challenging projects and this case was no different. Our current customer redesigned an all new truck platform with an all new cooling module / front end module system that was completely new to the one that we already supplied.

Cooling Module Assembly

Our challenge was to create a highly engineered, cost effective, high volume all new cooling module / front end module assembly process that allowed for integrated assembly of old and new product simultaneously at two customer plants in the United States.

Cooling Module Assembly
  • An integrated multi loop power and free conveyor solution that allowed for maximized reuse of existing capital equipment with all new custom designed and engineering pallet fixtures capable of producing over 350,000 modules from each line annually
  • All new offline front end bolster subassembly systems with customized hood latch trend set capabilities
  • New overhead mounted high speed vision inspection systems for in process and end of line inspection and product validation
  • All new custom engineering subassembly and material  handling equipment
Cooling Module Assembly
  • Power and free assembly solution that allowed for seamless integrated  build of new and old module assemblies at a rate of nearly 80 jobs per hour
  • Custom engineered bolster subassembly fixture that allows precise and capable hood latch trend setting
  • Customized torque and error proofing systems and controls delivering  on all key customer requirements
  • Improved high speed, high definition vision inspection using overhead mounting systems to allow for 360 degree access to product to ensure  defect free product to our customer
  • Engineered gaging systems to allow for quick and accurate measurements  of hood latch vehicle positions to ensure proper hood fit and functionality
  • Successful launches of product in two regions within the United States