Time Of Flight Sensor Guides Cockpit Assembly

Micro Epsilon optoNCDT ILR1030-8/LC1 time-of-flight laser sensors are used for the positioning of robots in automotive assembly operations.

In the production of vehicles, numerous production steps are automated and are performed using modern manufacturing processes using many innovative technologies. Precision sensors are an essential part of ‘state of the art’ automotive production allowing assembly robots to locate the precise installation positions of components with millimeter accuracy.

One example is vehicle cockpit assembly. The vehicle bodies move in cycle to the respective positions on the assembly line. The vehicle body must stop at exactly the intended position to ensure smooth and accurate installation by the robot, which must guide the cockpit between the A and B pillars into the vehicle.

The correct position at which the car body assembly station stop is determined by Micro Epsilon’s optoNCDT ILR1030-8/LC1 time-of-flight laser sensors. The sensors are particularly suitable for this and other comparable applications due to their short response time with the sensor located on the same side of the assembly line as the assembly robot for cockpit installation.

Measurements are taken at 100 Hz at the height of the A and B pillars of the vehicle and at a distance of approx. 600 to 700 mm. The sensor emits short laser pulses. When the vehicle arrives in station, the laser light first hits the A-pillar and reflected back to the sensor’s optics. The measuring system is set up in such a way that when the laser light hits the B-pillar the sensor sends an analog output signal to the PLC, which triggers the assembly conveyor to stop. With the vehicle correctly positioned the robot with gripper holding the cockpit assembly is activated guiding the cockpit between the A- and B-pillars to the perform the complex installation.

The sensor’s advantages include easy integration into the production line, laser class 1, which does not require any additional protective measures for the employees, and its surface independence. Precise measurements are also possible with the sensors on demanding black high-gloss surfaces as well as on metallic paints.

The compact sensor design is ideal for restriction on space; operates with a 600 – 700 mm measuring range and delivers an accuacy of 2 – 3 mm.

For more information: www.micro-epsilon.com