Vehicle Paint Inspection
The first impression for a car buyer is the crisp colour and clear paint finish of a new vehicle. The car showroom is kept in pristine condition, but any surface imperfection of the new car will quickly sour a new car buyer's mood. The emotional aspect of a new car purchase relies more on the look of the car; than on the technical features.
Automakers know this emotional commitment and focus on ensuring a perfectly painted and finished car surface. On the factory floor, imperfections and defects in the car painting process are typically found by manual inspection; which is subjective and relies on the alertness and opinion of the operator. Furthermore, any missed surface defects on the assembly line will result in costly rework and production losses.
Problem: The machine vision industry is well aware of the benefits for automatic paint surface inspection. However, an automatic paint surface vision inspection solution is very challenging due to many aspects including how to handle different car models on the assembly line, light reflection from different paint colours, cleanliness of the factory environment and definition of what constitutes a surface defect.
Our client (a large automotive OEM) contracted us to develop a custom designed vision inspection system with flexible and robust software for the purpose of paint surface inspection of several different car models on a assembly line. Defects included blisters, drips, runs, cracks, scratches, dents, mismatched colour tone, missing paint, peeling paint and dirt embedded in the paint.
Solution: Our solution included multiple high resolution cameras working in conjunction with overhead lighting on a fixed arrangement focused on the entire surface of the vehicle. Customized software was developed to process the captured images and detect the defects. A detailed GUI alerts operators of the exact location of the surface defect for quick reference during rework.