Automated Quality Control to Increase E-car Throughput

  Enquiry / contact me

An application story from Creaform Deutschland

Hydraulics & Pneumatics

Automated quality control of the engine mount using the MetraSCAN 3D-R
Automated quality control of the engine mount using the MetraSCAN 3D-R
The engine mount’s assembly line
The engine mount’s assembly line
Real-time 3D measurement data analyses of the engine mount
Real-time 3D measurement data analyses of the engine mount

Today’s manufacturers of electric vehicles are facing unprecedented challenges in quality control, due to the sheer complexity of assemblies and parts, as well as shorter production times to accelerate their time to market. Automated quality control systems are increasingly becoming a key strategy to address these challenges

Take Walter Automobiltechnik GmbH, a renowned German part and accessory supplier for big OEMs in the automotive and motorcycle industries. 

An engine mount kicks off the search for an automated quality control solution

Over the past few years, skyrocketing demand from OEMs for parts to be integrated in new electric vehicles drove the company to look for an alternative inspection approach and solution to accelerate and improve its quality control. In particular, Walter Automobiltechnik wanted a solution that could replace its manual methods and traditional coordinate measurement machine for an e-car engine mount for BMW’s new fully electric Mini Cooper SE.

The e-car engine mount is a complex grid tube frame with many connection points around the periphery. Weighing 25 kg and measuring 900 x 700 x 500 mm, the mount is made of galvanized steel, which causes a reflective surface. It also features welded structural parts with complex geometries, which made them difficult and time-consuming to inspect. Because 90% of the components are not reworkable, a non-compliant mount could cause an immediate production standstill. That meant that the quality control team at Walter Automobiltechnik had to guarantee 100% measurement of the series production within a specified cycle time. 

The quality control team had to spend at least 1 hour and 30 minutes to acquire measurements of each frame. Only experienced staff members were able to carry out the measurements. This inevitably caused bottlenecks at the CMM, generated lengthy computing times, and ultimately impacted the production line’s cycle time. 

Creaform’s R-Series becomes the solution to improve automated quality control

Walter Automobiltechnik turned to Creaform’s R-Series of automated quality control solutions. The company implemented a custom integration of the MetraSCAN 3D-R, a powerful robot-mounted optical scanner. Located at the end of the production line, a MetraSCAN 3D-R and C-Track optical tracker were installed in two automated industrial measuring cells to increase throughput. VXelements, Creaform’s fully integrated 3D software platform, was also chosen to carry out the inspections and quality control.

Each system is configured using a 6-axis robot with a 7th axis being a rotary table. Users manually load the part in the measuring cell and, with a barcode reader, scan the required information to start the robotized data acquisition process. Once the process is complete, a report is generated, indicating if the welded parts are good or not—and what repairs need to be made.

Because of the unique feature of dynamic referencing of both the MetraSCAN 3D-R and C-Track, metrology-grade accuracy, repeatability and reliability are not compromised, even if the measuring cell is located right on the production line in the shop floor. 

Walter Automobiltechnik installed the solution in less than two weeks, which kept downtime to a minimum. Staff members, including metrology experts and non-metrology technicians were trained on the MetraSCAN 3D-R and VXelements in just one day. 

The results are impressive. The MetraSCAN 3D-R now generates up to 480K measurements per second, which helped the quality control team reduce its measurement times from 1 hour 30 minutes to only 8 minutes per frame—all with an accuracy of 0.05 mm. For each frame, a measurement protocol and 3D scan are stored to ensure seamless traceability.

With the solutions’ exceptional ease of use and automated data acquisition, data accuracy—even over large measuring areas—is no longer depended on operator skill. This freed up Walter Automobiltechnik’s conventional CMM for other inspections that required tighter tolerances.

According to the Walter Automobiltechnik team, the exceptional performance of their automated quality control system for the engine mount has incited them to acquire more automated quality control solutions from Creaform for other production lines. “In the future, we think this system is a must-have in the automotive industry,” said Tommy Laukdrej, Head of Quality Management at Walter Automobiltechnik.

Posted on December 10, 2020 - (570 views)
Rudolf-Diesel-Straße 16
40670 Meerbusch - Germany
View full company profile

Automated Quality Control to Increase E-car Throughput

An application story from Creaform Deutschland

Related articles
4-in-1 Flow Meter
Aggressive Fluids Edition Portable Counter
Compact Version of the Electrohydrostatic Actuation System (EAS) Product Range
Direct Acting High-Speed Servo Valve
Pneumatic Downstream Accessories
Solenoid Valves
How Thinking Wireless can Overcome Mission Critical Sensing Challenges in Industrial Applications
Pump and Valve Innovator Finds a Test Rig Technology that Talks the Torque
ELGi Partners with the Italian Red Cross to Maintain Critical COVID-19 Response Vehicles
Low-flow Rate Double Syringe Pump
Next Generation of Industrial Gas Springs
Direct Acting High-speed Servo Valve
Aichi Tokei Denki TRX/TRZ
Aichi Tokei Denki TRX/TRZ
Aichi Tokei Denki TRX/TRZ
MXT Hydraulics Solution
Full-service Bolting Equipment Provider
Compact and Precise Level Switches
Regulators to maintain the desired temperature
Fan Filters for Good air Filtration
Direct Acting High-Speed Servo Valve
Modular Electrohydrostatic Actuation System (EAS)
ELGi’s Screw Air Compressor Powers Mission-critical, 24/7 operations Air Needs for Granlund’s Production
Enhancing Performance in Machine Shops
Compact Pressure and Vacuum Switch
Durable Ball Valves in Hygienic and Non-hygienic Applications
Compact Triaxal Accelerometer
Peristaltic Pump for Atomic Spectroscopy
Aichi Tokei Denki TRX/TRZ
Aichi Tokei Denki TRX/TRZ
Modular Principle Enhanced with Double-cardanic Coupling Variant
ExxonMobil and INNIO Announce Introduction of Jenbacher N Oil 40 lubricant for Jenbacher Gas Engines
Class '0' Certified Oil-free Compressed Air Portfolio
Cut costs and increase productivity – ExxonMobil launches long-life hydraulic oils – Mobil DTE™ 20 Ultra Series
Innovative Hydraulic Systems
Aichi Tokei Denki TRX/TRZ
Aichi Tokei Denki TRX/TRZ
Aichi Tokei Denki TRX/TRZ
Steel Mill Cuts Bearing Failures in Half Following Switch to Mobil™ Lubricant
ExxonMobil at K 2019