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Error Proofing for Automotive Parts Assembly

Today’s automotive assemblies require sophisticated error proofing solutions to ensure optimum product quality and performance. Manual mechanical probes and 2D machine vision cameras have proven unreliable and costly. Our Robust3DTM solutions use cutting-edge Tru3DTM sensors and user-friendly i-Cite™ software to deliver reliable, high-performance error-proofing solutions for automotive parts assembly applications.

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Robust3D machine vision system for error proofing during parts assembly

Error Proofing Applications

Piston Assembly

piston assembly error proofingOur Robust3D solution for piston assembly verifies proper installation and placement of circlips and rings to ensure correct assembly in the manufacturing process.

The piston assembly process is prone to errors, and when they’re not caught, they can cause downstream catastrophic engine failure. Traditionally, manufacturers have used touch probes and temperamental 2D vision cameras to error proof this assembly process. But the complex nature of piston assemblies and the dynamic work environment render them unreliable. In addition, only 3D visualization of the defect can provide an accurate root cause analysis.

Our Robust3D error proofing solution captures millions of data points to generate a 3D “as-built” model of the assembly area. It applies sophisticated algorithms to reliably detect all failure modes with multiple levels of assurance unmatched by other approaches.

Typical Piston Assembly Failure Modes

  • Missing circlip
  • Double circlips
  • Incorrect circlip clocking
  • Mis-set or mis-seated circlip
  • Incorrect piston orientation
  • Pin-to-piston height
  • Incorrect piston variant
  • Incorrect pin variant
  • Piston land width
  • Missing piston ring

Rolling Finger Follower (RFF) Assembly

rolling finger follower error proofingRobust3D inspects the different types of RFFs, verifying proper installation and placement in engines to ensure correct assembly.

RFFs are critical in engine assembly as they transfer camshaft rotary movement into valve stem up-and-down movement. In most engine designs, RFFs sit freely between the hydraulic lash adjuster and valve stem before the camshaft is installed. This increases the likelihood of assembly errors that can cause catastrophic engine failure if not caught.

The Robust3D error-proofing solutions use our latest Tru3D smart sensors to detect the presence or absence of different RFFs, as well as their orientation. Mounted on a robot, the sensors use millions of 3D data points to identify the real 3D geometry of the RFF. In addition, Robust3D solutions also provide full traceability by saving powerful 3D data.

 Typical RFF Failure Modes

  • Wrong type
  • Rotated 180 degrees
  • Missing
  • Angle of RFF (RFF not on valve stem, or valve stem riding on RFF gate)

Valve Assembly

Robust3D inspects the proper installation and placement of valve keepers to ensure correct assembly in the engine.

Valve keepers lock the valve stem in position in a valve assembly. When improperly installed, they fail to hold the valve stem in position, causing catastrophic engine failure, safety issues and potential product recalls. Prone to assembly errors, they have traditionally been difficult to error proof. Methods such as manual or laser-line profiling have proven unreliable given the random nature of failure modes.

Our Robust3D error proofing solution uses Tru3D smart sensors to generate a 3D math model of the valve assembly, easily detecting missing or mis-seated valve keepers.

End-of-Line Inspection

end-of-line inspection error proofing resultsRobust3D verifies correct installation of components at the final engine assembly line to ensure proper engine performance.

Manufacturers install many components, such as electrical connectors, tensioners, coolant lines and tube clippers, in the final stage of engine assembly. Most of these components are manually assembled, and most assembly lines run multiple variants on the same line. As a result, final assembly errors are common. With so many inspection points and such a wide range of inspection criteria, 2D vision systems, which are bulky and complex, have proven unreliable for error proofing at this stage.

The ability of Robust3D to generate 3D models and apply a variety of inspection criteria makes it a reliable solution for end-of-line error proofing.

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