Robots Guide EV Battery Pack Assembly

Perceptron has announced it has received two robot guidance orders involving battery packs from two different OEM partners.

Rick Van Valkenburg, Vice President Global Sales and Marketing for Perceptron, commented, “The wide-sweeping revolution of electric vehicle production provides new challenges for our OEM partners and an opportunity for Perceptron to help solve those challenges. The need for large battery packs that are awkward, heavy and expensive, make their insertion into the vehicle a perfect application for Perceptron’s automated solution compared to a manual operation. These batteries are also the heart of an electric vehicle, so the accurate, robust, and flexible system that we provide is critical.”

“Perceptron is well positioned for the future due to our ongoing investments in new product innovation and development,” said David Watza, President and CEO of Perceptron. “There is a dramatic strategic change in the product planning of the automotive industry to autonomous and electric vehicles. We believe our early start on our strategic development path will position Perceptron to capitalize on and benefit from these changes in both the near future, as we’re seeing with these orders, and longer term.”

Perceptron’s first robot guidance application utilizes two gripper mounted Helixevo sensors to unload battery packs from an automatic guided vehicle (AGV) and places them on a pallet and into the manufacturing line. The AGV’s position can vary, making the sensors’ large measurement volume critical for sensing and locating the battery for proper pickup. The pallet’s position can also vary and locating pins on the pallet are measured to avoid collision and guarantee an optimized placement before releasing the battery pack. This operation is incredibly efficient, with measurement completion in less than 30 seconds.

The Company’s second robot guidance application also uses two gripper mounted Helixevo sensors. The sensors provide a variety of capabilities, including measurement of the battery pack and the ability to pick it up, move it to the vehicle, measure the vehicle, calculate an adjusted path, send the new path to the robot, and finally place the battery pack inside the vehicle. This whole process provides customers with maximum efficiency and accuracy compared to manual operation. The sensors’ measurement of both the battery pack and the vehicle, while accounting for the part and process variation of the battery and vehicle, ensures the ideal matchup of components.

The first project is currently being installed and the second project is scheduled for Fall 2019.

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