Windshield Glue Bead Installation
Machine vision provides robot with coordinates, better supports mixed-model processing
Automotive manufacturers are now beginning to use robots to pick up glass windshields, apply an adhesive bead to the windshields edge and transfer the glass to an offload station where an operator installs it on the vehicle. Typically, a mechanical centralizer locates the glass at points around its edge and the robot moves to a known location to access the glass. Unfortunately, the windshield does not always sit in the same position and mechanical centralizers have difficulty adapting to different glass sizes when new vehicle models are introduced.
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Flexible Glue Bead Solution
Machine vision provides a flexible solution for windshield glue bead installation. A typical glass windshield application uses a Cognex® In-Sight® vision system over the part and a DS1000 series 3D laser displacement sensor mounted on the robot applying the adhesive. The user trains the In-Sight vision system to recognize a unique feature on each windshield, so that it can provide location information for the robot and associates it with the glass model number.
Once training of each windshield model is complete the user then establishes communication with the robot. A string of characters is sent via Ethernet to the robot confirming windshield model number and its coordinates. The robot then manipulates the windshield and presents the edge of the glass to a fixed nozzle which applies a continuous bead of sealant. A 3D laser displacement sensor mounted on the robot or nozzle inspects the adhesive bead to make sure it is properly applied in the right amount. Once complete, the robot transfers the glass to an offload station where the operator picks up the windshield and adds it to the vehicle. Cognex In-Sight vision systems and 3D displacement sensors deliver flexibility for new glass models to be added quickly which significantly reduces production line downtime and part changeover compared to a mechanical location method.