STEINBICHLER ABIS II
GESTAMP Polska and VW Nutzfahrzeuge/Commerical Vehicles Poland
GESTAMP Polska and VW Nutzfahrzeuge use the surface inspection system ABIS II for the quality control of "Caddy" body shells
For the first time, an automotive supplier of car body shells is using ABIS II technology for quality control and documentation. Based on the close supplier-customer relationship between Gestamp Polska (press shop Wrzesnia/Poland) and VW Nutzfahrzeuge/Commercial Vehicles (Poznan/Poland), the responsible quality managers of both companies had investigated the technical possibilities for optical surface inspection. As a result, Gestamp and VW Nutzfahrzeuge decided to purchase an ABIS II offline system for on-site operation in the press shop of Gestamp Polska.
The three most important criteria for Gestamp Polska regarding an investment in the new technology:
• Objective surface assessment and unambiguous classification
The ABIS sensor system delivers clear measurement results and objective calculations of the audit value. In close cooperation, the auditors at Gestamp Polska and the responsible managers for supplier parts at VW Poznan, defined the threshold values for surface quality. Thus, avoiding possible further discussions about subjective quality ratings, definite and final tolerance values are digitally stored.
• Shorter inspection time for single parts allows for higher number of sample tests
For a manual inspection (using a grinding stone) and subsequent rating within the VW classification scheme, e.g. for a Caddy sidewall frame, the auditor needs approx. 60 minutes. With the new ABIS II offline unit located in the press shop, the surface quality inspection is completely done within max. 3 minutes. Due to the shorter inspection time for single parts, the monitoring of the body shell quality can be carried out with a significantly higher number of sample tests during a production cycle.
• Decreased reject costs
Owing to the non-contact, optical surface inspection with ABIS II, a decrease of reject costs is achieved because the test parts do not need to be examined using a grinding stone. Thus, the parts can be transferred back into the running production line without any loss of quality.
Already during the testing phase, VW Nutzfahrzeuge placed a high value on the holistic approach of surface quality inspection throughout the process chain. For example, the Caddy sliding doors were first tested as single parts, then as assembled parts and, finally, after KTL (cathodic dip primer) coating. Through this internal process optimization, any possible influencing factors on surface quality should be revealed at an early stage in the complete production process. The final goal is a further reduction of rework costs, respectively the rework optimization to only focus on surface defects which are later actually visible after final painting.
The unit has been installed at Gestamp Polska in June 2010 and features the inspection of complete car bodies as well as the detection of contrast-sensitive defects such as scratches.