Applied Manufacturing Technologies (AMT) is North America’s largest independent automation engineering company supporting manufacturers, robot companies, systems integrators, line builders, and users of robotic automation worldwide.
The overall goal for this application is to detect the presence and location of various features on the interior of an automotive headliner. Mainly, this includes cables and “hicks”. Hicks are hard foam blocks that create a space between the vehicle roof and the headliner shell.
Maintaining proper location of these features is particularly important as it relates to airbag deployment. If cables or hicks are in the wrong location, they can interfere with airbag deployment.
Manual inspection can be done by placing the headliners into a hard check fixture, and using a series of feeler gauges to check for proper location. This process is time-consuming, and not practical for 100% inspection. It also does not check for cable placement.
2D inspection is insufficient in this case because there is a height element to the cables and hicks that would go undetected by 2D cameras. Cables and hicks can both be lifted, which is considered a failure mode.
For the application, AMT designed and built a complex conveyance and fixturing system. This design holds the headliners in a repeatable manner, which prevents issues associated with the headliners bending, or being over constrained. These issues can have an effect on measurement accuracy.
As the vision component of this system, AMT implemented a multi-sensor system consisting of six Gocator sensors fixtured on an overhead servo system to traverse the automotive headliner. The system is used to locate key mounting blocks, connectors, and wire harness locations on the headliner. The Gocator multi-sensor solution includes two tooling locations for headliner models. This unique configuration allows for a single inspection system to service two different models with zero changeover requirements.
The AMT inspection system uses a custom gantry for moving the Gocator sensors, with custom tooling and conveyance to transport the headliners in and out of position.
3D Surface Scan of the Automotive Headliner
Third party software developed for pass/fail analysis on key headliner features.
The Gocator® Advantage
- Factory pre-calibrated and ready to measure out of the box
- Easy to use web browser user interface with point and click functionality
- Sensor generates high resolution 3D data for precision height measurement
- Built-in alignment and stitching software to build a single 3D point cloud
- Multi-sensor networking capability provides maximum scan coverage
“We chose Gocator for several key reasons – its multi-sensor networking capability delivers maximum scan coverage, easy integration with factory equipment, and the sensor generates high-resolution 3D height map data that 2D vision solutions cannot provide.”
- Rick Vanden Boom, Vice President – Sales and Application Engineering, Applied Manufacturing Technologies
As a result of implementing this automated quality control system, the client achieved 100% inline inspection of multiple models of automotive headliners for correctness of build, and the ability to create a traceability record for each part inspected. In addition, the system provides the flexibility to reconfigure and add additional models for future product and product modifications.
The Benefits of Factory Automation with AMT Systems:
- Optimizes floor space
- Easily integrates into your current system and adapts quickly to changeover
- Removes costly and error prone manual inspection methods
- Provides quality inspection reporting and tracking to improve your overall manufacturing process
- Flexibility for additional models and mid cycle product changes