Image Processing Increases Bonding Quality in Automotive Manufacturing
French company Prodeo develops and implements software that helps companies improve their production processes to increase efficiency and productivity. The company’s products include Spagheo, software for tracking the movement of parts and assemblies throughout a factory, and Energeo, software for measuring energy consumption in a factory.
One of the company’s newest products is Cameo, a system that enables automated image acquisition, analysis and storage in real time on the assembly line. Cameo was originally developed to check the quality of manually applied beads of adhesive. But, manufacturers such as Renault Alpine, Renault Nissan and Volvo Trucks use it extensively in the construction of their car body components.
During production, Cameo automatically photographs the parts, measures and inspects the adhesive beads, and stores the images for future reference and traceability. The software measures the size and position of the beads to verify that they meet legal, safety and quality requirements. The image processing algorithms use holes and structural points of the components as reference for checking bead quality.
“The bead position is calculated relative to these references,” explains Georges Lamy Au Rosseau, director of image processing at Prodeo. “Due to the high resolution of the camera, we are able to check the presence, position and dimensional accuracy of each bead—especially the width—every 0.7 millimeter. For this we only need to take a single picture. This avoids post-processing and, above all, increases the quality and thus the safety of the vehicle body.”
Machine vision cameras from IDS Image Development Systems are a key part of the Cameo system. The uEye cameras are especially adaptable to Prodeo’s industrial needs, due to their wide range of applications on the same software.
Cameo can run USB 2.0, USB 3.0 and GigE uEye cameras with IDS software. The specific camera models are chosen based on each system’s requirements and available mounting space. Each IDS camera series offers a range of powerful sensors for high frame rates and resolutions, as well as numerous additional functions.
The current system primarily uses the model USB 3 uEye ML because of its durability and compact design. Additionally, the USB 3 uEye ML has an eight-pin Hirose connector, a C/CS lens mount and plug-and-play integration that allows for simplified setup and customization. To protect the cameras, Prodeo developed an aluminum cover. This cover allows the user to position the camera and adjust the lens as needed.
The system significantly improves quality assurance by minimizing errors, thus reducing production time, costs and manufacturer risk. Additionally, Cameo is making cars safer by increasing the quality of bonding, as bonded cars generally perform better in crash tests than welded cars. Cameo can also be used to improve quality control in a number of other industries.
“The versatility and robustness of these cameras enables us to respond quickly to the requirements of the industrial environment in which they are used,” explains Lamy Au Rousseau. “Every [adhesive dispensing] system has the same quality problem that we can solve with our image processing solution.”
For more information on vision cameras, call 781-787-0048 or visit www.en.ids-imaging.com.