Advantech’s Integrated Quality Control System Enhances Automobile Manufacturing
Automobile manufacturing involves a wide range of operations and processes, such as sheet metal welding, vehicle body painting, metal forging, engine manufacturing and processing, interior assembly, and factory testing. The smooth execution of each process is essential to producing premium quality products. Thus, the equipment used in automobile manufacturing must be correctly installed and employed for quality assurance.
Traditionally, automobile assembly and quality control operations are manually conducted by staff. For example, during automobile assembly, staffs are responsible for measuring the closeness of fit between vehicle body panels using an assembly jig. Any inaccuracies or miscalculations can result in serious safety issues and equipment damage. However, with the emergence of Industry 4.0, gaps in vehicle body panels can be measured using multi-axis imaging solutions that feature a robotic arm and cameras.
After quality assessments are conducted, all data can be transmitted to a centralized database to provide an accurate and comprehensive manufacturing record for every vehicle. Additionally, to enhance operational efficiency and productivity, diverse technologies can be integrated to enable multiple processes to be conducted simultaneously.
Automobile assembly is a multi-stage operation that typically involves multiple machines and synchronizing data across diverse systems. Not surprisingly, system performance is a crucial factor that influences overall efficiency and productivity. For example, to conduct quality check operations, a system equipped with a PoE card, motion card, and camera is required. However, most such systems only support a limited number of ports (1 card supports 4 ports; if 12 ports are required, 2 systems maybe required). Thus, for large-scale operations, the expansion potential is somewhat limited and the equipment costs are relatively high.
In an effort to eliminate the installation problems associated with traditional quality check operations and integrate multiple systems and technologies into a single machine solution that could satisfy industry demands, Advantech developed MIC-7500 - a compact fanless industrial PC equipped with a 6th generation Intel® Core™ i processor, high-performance multi-axis control card, and machine vision inspection card. The system’s modular design is compatible with Advantech’s iModule and iDoor technologies, which allow for flexible functionality and customization. Advantech’s MIC-7500 also supports PoE and USB interfaces to facilitate machine vision inspection operations.
For automobile manufacturing applications, Advantech’s MIC-7500 can be equipped with PCI-1245, a 4-axis stepping and servo motor control PCI card that supports E-Gear and E-CAM functions, as well as PCIE-1674E, a 4-port PoE (Power over Ethernet) PCIe x4 card that supports an Intel® server-grade GbE Mac controller. Because the system supports two interfaces for add-on cards, that is PCIE-1674E and PCE-USB4, the PCIE-1674E card can be substituted with a 4-port PCE-USB4 card for greater expansion flexibility.
- Fully integrated system and operations
- Centralized management and control
- Improved quality control
- Instant results/feedback
- Streamlines operations, ultimately increasing productivity
- Flexible and customizable expansion
- Reduced equipment costs