Case Study

Robotic Metal Finish

The problem

Metal Finish Best Fit

A local OEM customer was installing a new-model vehicle and planned robot guidance and nut runners to install the doors, lift gates, fenders, and hoods for the first time.

The solution

Robotic Metal Finish Best Fit Standard

Diverse Automation worked with the auto manufacturer to develop the vision-guided robot programming standard that was used to install all hinges, doors, lift gates, fenders, and hoods, using a new process called Best Fit. Best Fit requires tightening and loosening of all hinges to the body and hinge to parts, as well as several separate vision fitting processes during the tightening and loosening of the parts. The system did more than put these parts on the car; it measured the openings and put the parts in the middle of the openings, because every car varied dimensionally.

About the project:

The system included over $4 million in automated nut runners and vision equipment. Full traceability of bolting and fitting errors were developed, so if a problem arose, the line could continue to run, and the manual repair team downstream would know exactly which bolt or fitting process had an error, and what the specific error was.

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The results

Reusable Code

Three of the subsequent model metal finish lines were also programmed by Diverse Automation, using the same code, because it was made to be flexible enough to adapt to different sequences. It also has been proven extremely accurate and, most of all, user-friendly for the maintenance staff. Other manufacturers have taken this same code and adapted it for their metal finish lines since then.