Ford High Tech Automated Paint Defect Detection System
Some exerpts from the article since we can't post links..
The new Automated Inspection System process makes a microscopic scan of the painted surface, and then cues operators to complete the repairs on the adjacent polish decks. In the past, the careful surface inspection for the layers of paint was highly dependent upon human-eye inspection, which is non-value-added effort.
The development took place at the Ford Valencia Plant over a six-year span under the direction of Tornero’s team at IDF, a division of the Universidad Politecnica de Valencia. Valencia-based automation supplier ICEMI worked with the Valencia plant and IDF to commercialize the technology for Ford Valencia in 2011, then in Ford Genk in 2012. Vehicles produced in these plants with the new equipment include the Ford Kuga, Ford C-MAX, Ford Transit Connect and Ford Mondeo.
Dougan explained that the system works like a 3-D scanner. The conveyor places the recently painted car inside an inspection enclosure where it stays motionless while it is scanned with moving light bars and an array of cameras for image acquisition. The light creates a contrast, which highlights surface defects. Computer software compiles the images and compares them to surface design standards.
“The system is designed to apply light of different intensity depending on color while travelling alongside painted surfaces of car bodies. The combination of high-resolution cameras, special lighting and a computer algorithm enable to detect defect size and position.”
“The most impressive innovation of the equipment is its 15 second cycle time, in which the AIS processes around 1,500 pictures of the paint job at high resolution,” Dougan says, “Early warranty results have shown 60 percent improvement. We have also seen encouraging feedback from dealers and customers in the finish and the looks of vehicles.”
Paint gobblygook.....With the modern paints, one coat of a good activated Sealer, tack it off and put two coats of activated Acrylic Urethane Enamel or two coats of base and two coats of clear and if done right, it'll last 20 years and still have a shine, if taken care of. Any robot can paint completes on a car or truck, with a little practice. It's a bad joke when someone brags about putting ten or 20 coats of paint on a car, like the old lacquer days. Then they talk about sanding between coats. YIKES!!
The modern water base paints still haven't been proven over time. There's still a lot of those cars and trucks driving around, where the adhesion between the top coat and sealer was bad. The sealer coat is still there, but the top coat is gone or peeling and ford, Chevy or Dodge didn't stand behind the problem and make $$$$ refunds or pay for new paint jobs. They paid for a few at first, but that didn't last long. It was a mess. Stay away from water based paints for a few more years....
The Sealer has to dry for at least an hour or two before you tack it, depending on the booth temperature. Some can direction say 20 minutes, but if you rush the sealer, the topcoat will go right through it....