Inspection applications are widely used in manufacturing to identify errors or defects that may occur with goods produced. These processes were once only completed by humans, but the advancement of robotic vision systems has led to the development of robot based inspection applications. Industrial robots integrated with visions systems are able to take over inspection tasks from workers, increasing quality control measures with the capability of microscopic detection. Robotic inspection systems can be used to flag defective parts, measure parts, or verify that all parts are assembled correctly. Inspection robots like the Motoman MH6 are being deployed across numerous industries including the automotive, aerospace, and oil and gas industries.
There are many types of robotic vision systems on the market today. While the more basic vision systems allow for robot guidance, advanced vision systems provide industrial robots the capability to perform more complex tasks such as inspection. In order to automate an inspection process, a 3D camera will need to be integrated with an industrial robot. 3D vision systems are suited for inspection applications since they provide a complete six-degree view of any given object. The 3D camera is mounted to the robot arm. This allows the robot to be able to move its arm around an object it is inspecting to view all angles and to detect flaws too small for the human eye to catch. The FANUC Lr Mate 200id can be easily integrated with a 3D vision system for automating an inspection process.
Inspection robots can be stationed directly on a production line, monitoring parts or objects as they pass along a conveyor. Another option for robotic inspection automation is with a robotic workcell. Robotic workcells designed for inspection applications can consist of one or multiple robots. The ABB IRB 140 is an ideal choice for inspection cells. The robots are integrated with vision systems to inspect parts as they are loaded into the workcell. Once the inspection is completed, they are then unloaded from the cell to either continue through the manufacturing process or removed from the manufacturing line if flaws were detected. Inspection workcells can be used to inspect multiple part types for enhanced efficiency.
Inspection robots are vital to ensuring product quality and for protecting the integrity and safety of a product. This is especially true for the automotive and aerospace industries where one flaw can compromise the safety of their end-users. Robots excel at highly repeatable tasks and are programmed to follow the same guidelines with every part inspected. Manual processes are prone to errors as workers may tire leading to mistakes being missed or forgetting to check all aspects of a part. For instance, a FANUC M-710ic/20L can be utilized to verify all screws and bolts are inserted into a car engine and secured tightly. This ensures all engines manufactured are assembled correctly before vehicles make their way to the car lot.
Automating inspection applications with industrial robots improves accuracy and product quality. All parts are thoroughly evaluated and measured against the same standards for heightened quality control.