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Turnkey Robotic Inspection Cells

The scalable 3D quality inspection (3DQI) joins the FlexArc and FlexLoader in ABB’s growing portfolio of smart and flexible solutions. Designed to accelerate testing of automotive, aerospace, heavy machinery, and construction workpieces, the hardware/software solution also enhances quality and reduces waste.

Based on structured light and photogrammetry, ABB’s 3D quality inspection (3DQI) is a suite of hardware and software solutions for automatic part inspection. The robot can be programmed offline and a single controller manages the entire operation. Combined with flexible holding fixtures, the simulator allows easy configuration of new parts using only CAD data and an inspection plan.

Capable of detecting defects of less than half the width of a human hair (20 µm), the 3D quality inspection (3DQI) robotic cell from ABB Robotics & Discrete Automation (Auburn Hills, MI) eliminates time-consuming manual inspection while substantially reducing the likelihood of faults and errors. In addition to increasing productivity, the cell reduces costs by minimizing the risk of product defects that could lead to potential recalls.

Conceived for offline testing stations in the automotive, aerospace, heavy machinery, and construction industries, the cell’s modularity allows customization or expansion to meet evolving needs. Using a 3D white-light optical sensor to scan millions of points per shot, a detailed digital model of the part is created and compared to the original CAD drawing. All of this happens 10 times more quickly than with traditional coordinate measuring machines (CMMs).

The sensor can be carried by any robot with a handling capacity greater than 44 pounds (20 kg) and is compatible with a range of robots, tracks, and rotary tables. Therefore, there’s virtually no limit on what can be inspected. Accuracy is to below 100 (micrometer) μm.

“Traditional testing methods are slow and capture potential quality mistakes often too late in the process,” says Tanja Vainio, managing director of the Auto Tier One Business Line for ABB Robotics. “We developed and piloted the cell in automotive applications, including automotive supplier Benteler. It has been proven to improve product quality, throughput, and safety while freeing up skilled labor to be deployed on other tasks.”

The solution also provides comprehensive data analysis processed in real time. Digital records support part traceability. All equipment is included in ABB’s RobotStudio Sidio Planner Power Pack for easy and intuitive programming, enabling new users to quickly become familiar with using the 3DQI solution.


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