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Vision systems cut the likelihood of automotive recalls from cable failure

Case study – ALLIANCE VISION6th November 2011

 The cost of an automotive recall is rarely small. The large number of vehicles involved and the complexity of the repair, not to mention the cost of advertising the recall, mean that costs will run into many millions of Euros.

Yet recalls still happen frequently. And, according to Warranty Guide, over 2 recalls per week have been issued in the UK alone in the most recent 8 weeks period. And in March of this year a major Korean car firm recalled approximately 70,000 vehicles to replace faulty transmission cables.
Alliance Vision is working with Caraflec to reduce errors in cable selection through the creation and deployment of an automated cable inspection system. Sony’s XCD-V60CR Firewire cameras lie at the heart of the the vision system, which checks for manufacturer (white) and customer (yellow) specific markings to ensure the specified cable is always used, and examines the cable ends to check for fraying after it is cut.
Several challenges exist in implementing such a system. To work around existing machinery, a small size is essential. The requirement for 360o inspection requires three Firewire cameras, which can be linked together and connected to a single CPU; the Sony XCD-V60CR also allows a plug and play capability so cameras can be replaced easily by men on the assembly line should one fail. And finally, the cable’s high speed movement and multiple, colour coded markings require an exceptionally fast colour sensor to avoid motion blur.
In establishing the optimal set up, Alliance Vision tested a wide range of CPUs and vision camera combinations. And, whilst it’s early days in the technology’s deployment, there’s anecdotal evidence that language decribing failure rates has already shifted on the assembly line: from parts per million to parts per billion.
For further editorial information, please contact:
Rob Ashwell, Publitek
+44 (0) 1225 470000 / rob.ashwell [at] publitek.com / Skype: robpublitek / Twitter: @r_ashwell20