Automotive facilities have typically relied on manual labor for de-racking and inspecting body panels because racks may not be dropped in exactly the same location in the work cell. This positional variation of each panel on the rack has made manual handling and visual inspection challenging to automate because a blind robot cannot consistently locate panels with enough accuracy for a robot to pick them up.
Automated racking, de-racking and inspection of body panels in supply racks is possible with Cognex 3D vision systems. The vision system locates the position of racked parts, identifies part defects and sends the information to a robot controller. The robot controller uses the real-time data from the vision system to adapt the robot’s approach to the part's position. The 3D vision system also has the ability to detect part defects in the racks before being picked up by a robot, which eliminates scrap parts being welded together.