In Europe and North America,Ford has begun a project to install robotic plant laser inspection technology in 17 assembly plants for a planned investment of approximately $100 million (€70 million). The new laser-based systems will provide a structured light approach to improving the fit and finish of automobiles and reducing wind noise, which is a critical quality factor for consumers and a major industry challenge.
The technology was piloted at the Valencia plant in Spain, and is being used during the assembly of the Focus at Ford’s Saarlouis, Germany, plant, and its Michigan and Chicago assembly plants. The technology then will be rolled out globally.
“Robotic laser technology gives us a degree of precision that we have never had before,” says Ron Johnson, manufacturing quality manager, Ford of Europe. “It scans the dimensions of 500 key areas down to a tenth of a millimetre to make sure the parts fit perfectly and our cabins are extremely quiet.”
The system builds on previousend-of-line robotics, and employs lasers and machine vision technology. In the assembly line, the robots provide the added capability of precisely inspecting the doors before they leave the station, measuring and identifying any points on the vehicle with non-conformity.
SOURCE:Ford Motor Company
--Posted byVision Systems Design