8/9/2019 | 1 MINUTE READ

Improving Production Quality

Facebook Share Icon LinkedIn Share Icon Twitter Share Icon Share by EMail icon Print Icon

Researchers in the U.K. may have achieved line-rate BIW inspection


Facebook Share Icon LinkedIn Share Icon Twitter Share Icon Share by EMail icon Print Icon

Although vehicle manufacturers like to measure as many vehicles in production as they possibly can, let’s face it: line rates are fast, with anywhere from 50 to 60 vehicles per hour running off the line, and bodies-in-white (BIWs) have plenty of features to be measured and are dimensionally large. So it is generally a case of sampling.

However, engineers at WMG at the University of Warwick in the UK have developed a robotic measuring system that they say could potentially measure every vehicle being produced.

Measurement robot


The system uses a KUKA robot that’s mounted on a five-meter track. It has an end effector capable of handling a variety of non-contact measurement sensors. In this case, the robot is fitted with Laser Radar from Nikon Metrology, which is a long stand-off laser measurement system that is capable of achieving accuracies of better than 0.01 mm over distances of several meters.

While the WMG researchers think that this system that they’re running in their metrology lab (and comparing it to results being obtained with a twin-column coordinate measuring machine setup that’s also there) could have application on the factory floor—with huge returns based on things ranging from reduced rework to improved customer satisfaction—they’re looking ahead to even more enhanced functionality.

That is, they suggest that measurement data could be fed back into the manufacturing system so that the system could self-correct without the need of human intervention.

Hand holding a crystal ball

We’d rather send you $15 than rely on our crystal ball…

It’s Capital Spending Survey season and the manufacturing industry is counting on you to participate! Odds are that you received our 5-minute Metalworking survey from Automotive Design and Production in your mail or email. Fill it out and we’ll email you $15 to exchange for your choice of gift card or charitable donation. Are you in the U.S. and not sure you received the survey? Contact us to access it.

Help us inform the industry and everybody benefits.


  • Painting with Water at Toyota

    Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky’s Plant Two paint department has developed the flexibility to paint both cars and minivans in the same facility. They’re painting small lots with high finish quality, all while dealing with the unforgiving nature of the water-borne process

  • The Corvette Goes Aluminum

    For the high-performance Corvette Z06 GM defied tradition and switched from a steel to an aluminum frame.

  • Ford: Quality Is Job 1 (or is that $100-million?)

    Not only do the 2012 Ford Focus and Explorer models look good, but Ford engineers are making sure that they are built well, to boot.