When the BMW plant in Dingolfing, Germany, needed sensors to inspect formed parts for its 7-series automobiles, the automaker turned to SICK (Minneapolis). Previously, employees visually inspected the formed parts.

SICK supplied the company with 24 DS-60 distance sensors. The sensors are used at the inspection station for molded parts. This is where 18 different parts are attached to the car. Some of the molded parts are used to attach the water pipe to the drip molding. Others are sealing elements that will be formed later to prevent vibration of parts.

The inspection process is important because these areas are no longer accessible once the vehicle is fully assembled. The DS 60 sensors are installed on the inspection station and monitor various positions in the roof, wing, interior and door sill. Black plastic surfaces, some only 10 millimeters in size, must be detected.

The sensors' range is between 1.3 and 5.2 feet, depending on the assembly area. Because of the sensor's long range, BMW was able to inspect all the formed parts with the same sensor.

For more information on sensors, call 800-325-7425, visit www.sick.com or Reply 6.