ABB has launched its new 3DQI scaleable modular 3D inspection robot cell solution, which should appeal to traditional quality control processes, as well as sizeable 3D scanning operations.
Capable of detecting defects of ‘less than half the width of a human hair’, ABB claims its new 3D quality inspection (3DQI) robot cell will dramatically accelerate production by providing fast, accurate testing to make metrology easier and less time consuming.
A proprietary five megapixel camera and single white light sensor, the 3D scanner claims a resolution of 27 pixels per square millimeter, and details down to 14 μm to be recorded.
The sensor unit can be carried by any robot with a handling capacity greater than 20kg and is compatible with a range of robots, tracks and rotary tables, removing limits on the dimensions of the parts that can be inspected.
The launch of the 3DQI comes three years after ABB acquired 3D vision and white light scanning company NUB3D, and fits ABB’s goal from the time to create new automated turnkey inspection and quality-control systems for automotive original equipment manufacturers, aerospace companies and customers in other sectors such as metals and plastics.
3DQI is initially targeted at automotive applications, beta testing was conducted at automotive supplier Benteler, where it is said to have improved product quality, throughput and safety, while freeing up skilled labor to be deployed to other tasks.
The technology is conceived for offline testing stations and its modularity allows customisation or expansion to meet evolving business needs.
The sensor can be carried by any robot with a handling capacity greater than 20 kg and is compatible with a range of robots, tracks and rotary tables, so there are no limits on the dimensions of the parts that can be inspected.
The ABB 3DQI also provides comprehensive data analysis processed in real time, with its digital records supporting traceability, enabling customers to adapt processes to prevent future failures, improving overall quality and productivity.
All programming is handles by ABB’s RobotStudio Sidio Planner Power Pack, which it says will make 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,” said Tanja Vainio, ABB Robotics auto tier one business line MD.
“Traditional testing methods are slow and capture the potential quality mistakes often too late in the process.
Vainio continues that the automated solution is capable of exceeding the capabilities of traditional inspection for speed, accuracy and repeatability.
The new 3DQI inspection cell adds to ABB’s growing family of automated cell solutions, which already includes its FlexArc robotic welding cell and the three-finger gripper FlexLoader for tool and part handling.