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Smart Eye Inspection Cell Closes Loop with Flexible Robot Welding Cell

Valmet Automotive and Mapvision recently introduces a flexible welding cell demonstration that takes automotive manufacturing a major step towards a self-adjusting production process. The pilot welding cell has been installed in Valmet Automotive’s new Innovation Lab as a part of the company’s Intelligent Manufacturing program.

Since its founding in 1968, Valmet Automotive, has stood for holistic vehicle manufacturing on behalf of renowned OEMs. More than 1.8 million vehicles –  such as for Mercedes-Benz, Saab and Porsche – have left the production lines to date in Uusikaupunki, Finland. Flexibility and agility, with an economical mindset, are what the business line is all about.

Valmet Automotive’s Intelligent Manufacturing program responds to the change in the automotive industry that is making the operating environment increasingly complicated and forecasting more difficult. The company is now creating solutions for more flexible manufacturing processes to ensure capacity optimization for a car plant of the future.

Valmet Automotive has set up an innovation center at the Uusikaupunki, Finland plant to develop and pilot future solutions that will increase the company’s ability to manufacture several products simultaneously, to utilize different processes, to increase profitability and to serve customers with different needs and requirements.

As part of the Intelligent Manufacturing program, Valmet Automotive and Mapvision, the expert of fully digital quality measurements based on a patented multi-camera inspection technology, have combined their expertise in the welding cell project. The result is a closed-loop welding cell without traditional jigs that offers much enhanced flexibility in manufacturing.

Integrated Quality Inspection

The focal point of the flexible welding cell is the Mapvision Smart Eye Cell solution that combines the company’s multi-camera technology and advanced inspection software with new flexible hardware. The solution enables the robots to use the integrated inspection system for measuring the location and orientation of each component before welding and for checking the quality after every process stage.

The ultimate flexibility comes from the system operating in a single coordinate system. When checking the position of the part the system provides instant error correction instructions to the robots.

As a contract manufacturer in automotive industry, Valmet Automotive needs to meet the customers’ requests for flexibility, speed, and various production volumes. Replacing rigid, model-dedicated production lines with a network of flexible manufacturing cells enables a highly automated plant that adjusts according to the production requirements.

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