MVT has a great deal of experience with automotive vision systems, having worked with major automotive OEM component suppliers. Typical vision systems applications include checking that manually-assembled automotive components are complete and correct and measuring machined parts to check that they are within tolerance (non-contact gauging). It is not unusual for automotive dimensional gauging to be carried out using moving cameras (for example on a robot arm).
Automotive companies increasingly demand 100% quality checks from suppliers: vision systems have an important role to play.
It is possible to check for colour matching, character recognition for batch or product codes and barcode or datamatrix (2D barcode) decoding. The use of datamatrix marking in the automotive sector is becoming increasingly prevalent as manufacturers and suppliers fight counterfeit products and require traceability of defective batches. Datamatrix marks are able to hold far more data than is possible with barcodes and in a much smaller, permanently-marked area. They also incorporate a degree of redundancy to account for any damage that may be incurred during the lifetime of the part.
Automotive components being checked include suspension units, air springs, automotive interior fittings and even tyres. In addition to quality and dimensional checks, vision systems can be used in robot guidance and product identification for a ‘pick and place’ operation. The identification may be in the form of product features, e.g. shape, or from labels using datamatrix, barcode or text. Some of our customers like to use this functionality as an extra check when various products or variants may pass down the same production line.