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ABB’s new 3D inspection robot system makes quality control testing ten times faster


A 3D quality inspection robot system, up to ten times faster than Coordinated Measuring Machine (CMM) systems, can dramatically accelerate production by providing fast, accurate testing to make metrology easier and less time consuming. Capable of detecting defects of less than half the width of a human hair and imperceptible to the naked eye, the 3D Quality Inspection (3DQI) solution eliminates the need for time consuming manual inspection, while substantially reducing the likelihood of faults and errors. As well as increasing productivity, the system also reduces costs by minimizing the risk of product defects that could lead to potential recalls.

The 3DQI is mainly conceived for off-line testing stations, while its modularity allows customization or expansion to meet evolving business needs. Using a single 3D white light optical sensor to scan millions of 3D points per shot, a detailed digital model of the part being inspected can be created which can be compared to an original CAD drawing. All of this can be done 10 times faster than with traditional CMM machines .

The sensor can be carried by any robot with a handling capacity greater than 20 kg. Thanks to ABB‘s portfolio of robots, tracks, rotary tables and modularity concepts, there are no limits on the dimensions of the parts that can be inspected.

Key benefits of the 3DQI include its combined speed, accuracy to below 100μm and flexibility provided by its modular design, with customers able to create a solution tailored to their exact requirements.

The system also provides comprehensive data recording, which is processed in real time using multiprocessor technology. The digital records support tracking and tracing should auditing be required at a later date, while helping operators to optimise performance and predict potential faults before they occur. All equipment is included in ABB’s powerful RobotStudio Sidio Planner Power Pack for easy and intuitive programming, enabling new users to quickly become familiar with using the 3DQI solution.

“The ability to accurately measure and control quality is vital to ensure that products achieve consistency, comply with standards, and meet customer expectations. Manual testing takes time and even the most skilled operator can make mistakes,” says Toni Roda, ABB Global Product Manager for Vision . “The 3DQI solution automates this process, far exceeding the capabilities of manual inspection in speed, accuracy and repeatability. We’ve developed and piloted our 3DQI technology in automotive applications, including tier 1 automotive supplier Benteler in Spain, and the 3DQI solution has been proved to improve product quality, throughput and safety, while freeing up skilled labour to be deployed on other tasks elsewhere.”

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