Ford To Spend $100 Million In Robot Laser Tech

Ford Motor Co plans to invest about $100 million in robotic laser technology to make its car doors fit better and reduce wind noise inside the vehicle, t was installing the equipment first at plants that make the Ford Focus compact car in Wayne, Michigan, and Saarlouis, Germany, and a Chicago facility that makes the Explorer crossover sport utility vehicle………


Ford announced it is investing $100 million to install robotic plant laser inspection technology to better attach doors and other large panels to vehicles. The new laser inspection will be used at the at Michigan Assembly Plant and the Saarlouis, Germany, plant, both plants build the 2012 Ford Focus. And then at the Chicago Assembly Plant, which builds the 2012 Ford Explorer. According to Ford, robots are programmed to recognize any minute deviations from the correct specification and, if any errors are found, instruct the operator on the best corrective action. The robots can, for example, shut down the assembly line if the cameras detect that a door does not fit perfectly. “Ford’s robotic laser technology gives us a degree of precision like never before,” said Ron Ketelhut, chief engineer, Body Construction Engineering. “The vision technologies verify the dimensions of interfaces on the vehicle’s body in a highly accurate way, to a tenth of a millimeter.” Ford is also counting on a reduction in human error, as the machines are tuned to measure point specifications on the vehicle, whereas it previously was left to an operator to make a judgment call on whether it was accurate, Ford said.



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