Inconsistencies often occur in the manual assembly of steering knuckles. Automating this operation is challenging since the position of the steering knuckle, its surface finish and the position of the characters used to identify it changes. Due to the manual assembly process, it is possible that the incorrect steering knuckle is assembled to the car which may result in recalls.
A robot-mounted Cognex vision system, with patented geometric pattern matching tools, identifies the steering knuckle by reading the characters cast into its surface. The vision system automatically adapts to changes in part position, appearance, surface finish and character spacing. Once the vision system identifies that the correct steering knuckle has been assembled to the vehicle, it sends the data with images for archiving, to the plant’s database for inventory control.