The next leap in automated flush and gap measurement

Flush and gap quality is a key element in automotive manufacturing development processes. Advancements in optical measurement technologies continue to make this process ever more efficient and accurate.

In final assembly, the optical measurement systems often reach their limits due to poor reflectivity (e.g. matt black materials and lamps) or high reflectivity (e.g. mirrors and chromium parts) of certain measurement objects. An assembled car has quite a lot of those objects, e.g. headlights, chromium parts, glass elements like windshields or modern design elements. Imprecise or erroneous measurement results are the consequence, leading to a loss in product quality and slowing down production processes in general.

The problem

Let’s take a closer look at the headlight’s example. The picture below shows the position where we are about to measure. Here, the gap is surrounded by two different surfaces – the painted metal of the hood and the headlight itself, which consists of a polycarbonate surface and other transparent and semi-transparent elements, like mirrors and LED lights. You could say this is one of the main challenges of flush and gap measurement.

A regular optical measurement system might struggle for three reasons:

  • The laser light shines through the transparent or semi-transparent surface, causing only weak reflections of the laser on the out most layer
  • Inside the headlight, the laser light would scatter between layers of transparent and semi-transparent surfaces – e.g. LED lights and mirrors – delivering reflections that impair the measurement results
  • The laser part projected on the painted hood would deliver much more reflections and would be overexposed (especially at bright colors).

A disruptive technology from the NEXTSENSE portfolio of optical systems for profile measurement solves this problem.

The solution

The solution to the problems described above is actually quite simple: the poor reflectivity of transparent and semi-transparent surfaces needs to be optimised by optical contrast. But how?

Think of a pair of glasses that you breathe on to clean them. Once your breath is visible on the glass, its surface is not transparent anymore, at least for a few seconds, until your breath dissolves again. Exactly that idea was the driving force behind the development of the revolutionary CaliBreeze™ technology.

By “breathing” onto the surface, the optical properties of the measurement object surface are enhanced. Thus, allowing measurements at highest precision and repeatability on any surface. After serving its purpose, the “breath” dissolves within seconds without leaving any residue on the measurement object.

CALIPRI precision

The CaliBreeze™ technology was integrated in the newly released measurement solution CALIPRI CB20.

The name CALIPRI might ring a bell. The eponymous principle made quite a name for itself in the industry over the last decade. As a further development of the laser light section technology, it uses three laser lines to eliminate roll and tilt errors with handheld measurement solutions. The same principle is used in automated solutions to optimise precision and repeatability of the results.

Thus, CALIPRI CB20 integrates the so-called “CALIPRI-precision”, an industry-benchmark in automated flush and gap measurement. This precision is reached due to multiple factors. Namely, the use of

  • the CALIPRI principle with three laser lines to avoid inaccurate measurements due to imprecise positioning of the vehicle or the robots
  • twin-head sensors for complete profile capturing
  • swivelling movement to capture the most complex profiles at highest precision
  • The revolutionary CaliBreeze™ technology for the inspection of transparent and semi-transparent surfaces

Summary

CALIPRI always equalled innovation. CaliBreeze™ is the next leap forward in automated flush and gap measurement. Developed for the special requirements in final assembly, the automated system allows measurements on any surface without a hassle.

Want to find out more about this new technology and measurement system? Contact us to talk with one of our experts.

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