BMW (Munich, Germany) chose Perceptron Inc.'s (Plymouth, MI) AutoGauge robot-based flexible measurement system to improve quality, reduce time and cut cost from its new model launch. The new system was used to diagnose and correct line and tooling problems early in the launch process at BMW's Spartanburg, SC, plant-where the 2003 Roadster debuted.
BMW chose the Perceptron system based on its ability to be used during the launch phase of a new tooling program when the production line is being ramped up to speed, as well as during the operational phase when the plant is producing at full line speed.
AutoGauge checks the dimensional quality of all body-in-white and major subassemblies as they move through the production process. At the reduced line rates found during launch, the AutoGauge system measures a large number of points on each car body coming through the line. Quality information is immediately available for review and analysis on the network throughout the manufacturing plant. Manufacturing problems can be rapidly detected and corrected. Debugging, part and process problems can be reduced from hours to minutes. This all contributes to a faster ramp-up to full production.
BMW also collects valuable data from coordinate measurement mach-ines (CMMs). But if BMW only used the data from CMMs to diagnose launch problems, it could take several hours to collect and analyze measurements from a single vehicle removed from the production line. During that time, the assembly line would continue to produce vehicles with uncorrected manufacturing problems. Adding the AutoGauge system supplies additional data that BMW didn't get from its CMM system. AutoGauge allowed BMW to be up and running early in the launch phase, thus giving the company a competitive advantage.
For more information about flexible measurement systems, call 734-414-6100 or visit www.perceptron.com.