Bluewrist Case Study

Flexible Engine Cradle Inspection

55 Features Per Cycle Under 25 Seconds

The Application

Suspension cradles are complex components found in every automobile. The cradle consists of several welded, high-strength hydroformed steel tubes and stamped parts. These parts have to be manufactured with precise alignment in order to support the mounting of an engine, transmission, and control arm brackets.

Suspension Cradle
Automotive suspension cradles with multiple holes, slots and mounts

The Challenge

A global tier 1 automotive component manufacturer needed to verify the dimensional quality of suspension cradles in an inline process. The manufacturing line produces cradles for two different automotive models and the inspection cell must have the capability to inspect both suspension cradles. The application requires 55 feature inspections in under 25 seconds to meet high-volume cycle times and the adherence to strict GD&T (Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerance).

 

Any deviations in the cradle will lead to incorrectly fit components, which adversely affects the vehicle’s camber and toe angles and can result in costly rework and recalls.

The Solution

The manufacturer required a 100% inline solution that could meet production speed. Traditional CMMs (Coordinate Measurement Machine) are expensive and can take more than 1 hour to perform the task.

 

Bluewrist’s FlexiSight system uses 26 3D snapshot sensors strategically positioned on a custom designed fixture. The manufacturer is able to inspect holes, slots, studs, and trims on the two engine cradles. Scan data is compared to the CAD design and GD&T specifications.

 

Results are streamed in real-time to Bluewrist’s comXtream software, which processes large amounts of data from the 3D sensors. comXtream also links the sensors with the robot and PLCs.

 

Additionally, Bluewrist SPCWorks software monitors real-time dimensional data, and provides statistical analysis to operators in order to identify even the smallest deviations from tolerance.

bluewrist_flexisight_inspection_cell_1
bluewrist_inspection_cell
Custom designed inspection cell with the capability to inspect two different types of suspension cradles

The Results

If the cradle passes inspection, it is delivered to the next step of the production process. Any cradle with defects or deviations is automatically removed from the production line.

 

Bluewrist’s FlexiSight system is able to identify deviations from tolerances in real-time and deliver a 100% inline inspection on thousands of cradles per day–all while maximizing product quality and reducing system costs.

Next Steps

The Bluewrist FlexiSight system can be modified to inspect other vehicle models to meet the future needs of the manufacturer.

Points to highlight:

  • Inspection speed: 55 Features under 25 seconds
  • Scans down to 35 µm data resolution at speeds of up to 5 Hz.
  • Small form factor and lightweight industrial design make 3D sensors ideal for fitting into small spaces and mounting on robots.
  • IP67-rated housing with an industrial projector offering lifetimes up to 10 years of continuous operation.
  • Stereo camera technology minimizes occlusions and interference from ambient lighting.

Please contact us for more information.

bluewrist_flexisight_inspection_cell
3D snapshot cameras taking measurements of the suspension cradle