Smart Assembly Requires Smart Sensors

Manual insertion of glass into vehicle bodies is labor intensive and imprecise, with the opportunity for body damage and glass breakage leading to significant safety risks to assembly operators. The alternative of robotic insertion techniques are complicated because the vehicle body location is not precise requiring vision guidance to transform the robot end effector to compensate for body location variation and to optimize the glass position.

System Integrator Bluewrist Inc., a long-term partner of LMI, develops and markets innovative industrial automation solutions using robotics and machine vision including 3D inspection, robot guidance, 3D scanning and robot calibration.

Bluewrist has mounted 4 LMI Gocator 2300 series 3D smart sensors onto the robot end effector of their glass insertion solution system to monitor the location of 4 critical points on the windshield aperture using Gocator’s built-in Edge Tool to determine the 3D location of critical points on the aperture.

The Gocator 3D measurements are communicated to an external PC equipped with Bluewrist’s EzRG Advanced Robot Guidance Software, which calculates transformation data in 6 degrees of freedom before sending its calculations to the robot controller. EzRG provides a wide range of robot guidance and user-frame calculation strategies, including Best-fit of Measurement, 3-2-1 Fixturing, and a User-Frame Formulas Interpreter. Calculation takes less than 0.5 seconds and the guidance accuracy up to 0.2mm can achieved. The LMI sensors are immune to robot movements and vibrations.

The Smart Gocator’s automatic exposure accurately measures all colors, essential for painted bodies and their all-in-one design simplifies cabling allowing easy integration with inbuilt measurement tool eliminating the need for image analysis software development. “The Gocator’s built-in smart measurement and exposure control delivers a 3D solution at incredible value” states Najah Ayadi, President of Bluewrist.

When installed on a vehicle assembly line the Robot picks up glass from fixed location using suction cups on the end effector and moves glass to programmed nominal insertion point where the sensors measure actual aperture position. The EzRG software calculates translation values and directs the Robot to move to the optimal position for glass insertion before completing the assembly process.

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