Wednesday, 13 February 2013

3D smart cameras

The use of the LMI Gocator 3D smart camera, from Stemmer Imaging,  mounted on a robot arm offers a rapid and accurate way of making gap and flush measurements on automotive panels. These measurements allow correction and error proofing of any build problem; reduction of unexpected cost in repairing misassembled panels; reduction of waste from discarding damaged panels due to fit problems and even rejection of the vehicle if the panels are badly misaligned. With an integral laser line source, optics and camera, the Gocator allows simultaneous measurement of both the gap and flush at very high accuracy.

Gocator features a host of built-in measurement tools which are configured through a standard web browser. This allows the entire measurement sequence to be set up quickly and efficiently without any custom software programming. Gocator is supplied pre-calibrated and ready to use, straight from the box.

The Gocator is mounted on a robot that is used to position the sensor so that two panels are in the view of the sensor. Once the sensor is positioned, the robot will initiate a start signal to the sensor to begin measuring. The part of the laser line that falls on the flat part of the panel forms a natural reference for the measurements. The sensor will then perform the gap and the flush measurement and on completion signal the robot with the inspection results. The robot is programmed to move to a number of pre-defined inspection positions around the vehicle body. At each position the panels are measured against a specific target and tolerance.

The sensor is capable of storing thousands of configurations, allowing the robot to call for specific measurement parameters at each inspection position. The Gocator supports several industrial PLC protocols to control the sensor and to collect measurement results. Additionally, an open source Software Development Kit (SDK) is available for engineers who want to do their own programming

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