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Quality Inspection With Robot and 3D Scanner

When inspecting components, the combination of a KUKA KR CYBERTECH robot and two scanners achieves a new level of quality. The Smart Component Tester (SCoT) from Berghof Testing performs the optical inspection of components from automobile manufacturers not with industrial cameras and images as is usually the case but with a 3D scanner that functions independently of lighting conditions, contrast, reflection and position.

For this, the company has now received the ‘German Innovation Award 2021’ in the ‘Machines & Engineering’ category. Compared to previous object inspection systems, the solution from the specialist for quality and safety inspection of components in the automotive sector scores points above all for its flexibility and reduced costs. Berghof Testing prevailed in the competition against more than 700 innovations.

High Precision Scanning

Smart Component Tester can visually inspect a wide range of components

The award-winning SCoT uses two scanners: one determines the exact position of the component on a short linear conveyor belt and passes the information from the 3D model to the robot. This means that the system does not require any complex and expensive conveyor technology based on workpiece carriers. The robot picks up the object in the next step and finally presents it to the second 3D scanner, which performs the optical inspection. This provides customers with great flexibility in scanning.

“Our system is primarily designed for the inspection of rear spoilers,” explains Theo Rauch team leader of the Automotive Test Systems department. “These come in a wide range of variants. Therein lies the challenge: the camera must scan exactly the right points of the quality features, regardless of the shape and position of the component. That’s what we developed SCoT for.” Changeover times for changing model inspection variants are thereby completely eliminated.

The system can not only scan rear spoilers. The system can be adapted to different component shapes, positions and quality characteristics. To do this, the customer uses the software that Berghof Testing developed specifically for this purpose. The robot software is coupled with the KUKA.PLC mxAutomation control software, which significantly simplifies the programming and operation of SCoT.

“This means that our customers do not have to acquire any additional knowledge of robot programming. The KUKA.PLC mxAutomation function blocks enable them to operate the KUKA robot within their familiar programming environment,” says Theo Rauch.

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