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Key measurement requirements in the automotive market

Whilst the automotive sector is declining in Australia in certain areas of the market activities are occurring that still require both metrology and testing solutions.

Applications such as the checking and recording of vehicle panel flush and gap variations, the laser scanning of body panels and fitment of plastic interior panels and assemblies are examples where the latest developments in technology are being effectively deployed to help improve productivity and to enhance vehicle quality and customer experience.

We also market a range of innovative wireless torque wrenches, such as LightStar, to the automotive market which when combined with data collector devices such as the 600 Data Collector and SPC software packages such as QDA from ASI Datamyte provides a complete turnkey solution for torque audit applications.

Typical Applications

Flush and Gap Measurement

In the automotive assembly operation as well as in the truck and bus sector the fitment of vehicle panels in terms of flushness and gap between panels is important – both from an aesthetic point of view as well as from a customer complaint perspective with unacceptable wind noise. The measurement of flushness and gaps between panels therefore has become a critical task in assembly operations.

Equipment such as LaserGauge is helping manufacturers around the world to audit and check panels gaps as well as panel flushness between adjoining panel in order to improve vehicle quality.

This system uses laser line scanning technology to accurately measure the gap between panels and the relative height of one panel to another and automatically check these measurements to the defined specifications and to report deviations and assembly trends.

Inspection of Panels and Dies

In the press and die shops of modern automotive assembly plants large dies are repaired and refurbished in order to support the press shop in making high quality automotive panels. The monitoring of the condition of these dis and the establishment of points of high wear or constant damage is critical to the overall efficiency of the whole operation.

Manufactures tend to use equipment such as structured light scanners to 3D scan dies – both new and repaired in order to accurately get an understanding of the condition of the tools and the relative variance of the die to the theoretical 3D CAD model. this is both an efficient as well as a highly accurate way in which to measure the 3D shape of complex items such as automotive press tools.

Residual Torque Audit

In final assembly as well as various points within the assembly processes it is important to check and monitor residual or break-away torque on key fasteners in order to maintain quality and to reduce warranty costs. Products such as the LightStar digital torque wrench from ASI Datamyte help manufacturers with this exercise to keep bolted joints and assemblies tightened to the specified torque limits set in the design specifications.

The LightStar toque wrench couple with a data collector system such as the 600 Data Collector, also from ASI Datamyte, allows the storage of data as well as the downloading of measurement routines to the torque wrench equipment for remote measurements within the manufacturing facility.

BIW Checking

Body in white (BIW) checking is usually carried out with the use of large coordinate measuring machines (CMMs) primarily of the horizontal arm type – either single or twi arms.

These systems allow the quality personnel to check the quality of the assembly operations and the overall compliance of assembled bodies to the theoretical CAD model to ensure conformance, process control and conformity.

Products such as the SWAN horizontal arm CMM systems from manufacturers such as COORD 3 are widely used, with great success, around the world.

Component Measurement

A wide range of engineered components are regular check by automotive manufacturers as part of their on-going quality and compliance checks.

Equipment used to perform these 3D measurements are usually CNC-controlled coordinate measuring machines, but also systems are also used such as manual portable arm CMMs and height gauges in particular.

The checking of roundness of cylindrical components such as engine parts and shafts in general are usually check with roundness measuring equipment such as the Taylor Hobson Talyrond range.

More Information?

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