Sealing cracks in automotive assembly

Figure 1.4: An application of motion planning to the sealing process in automotive manufacturing. Planning software developed by the Fraunhofer Chalmers Centre (FCC) is used at the Volvo Cars plant in Sweden (courtesy of Volvo Cars and FCC).

Figure 1.4 shows a simulation of robots performing sealing at the Volvo Cars assembly plant in Torslanda, Sweden. Sealing is the process of using robots to spray a sticky substance along the seams of a car body to prevent dirt and water from entering and causing corrosion. The entire robot workcell is designed using CAD tools, which automatically provide the necessary geometric models for motion planning software. The solution shown in Figure 1.4 is one of many problems solved for Volvo Cars and others using motion planning software developed by the Fraunhofer Chalmers Centre (FCC). Using motion planning software, engineers need only specify the high-level task of performing the sealing, and the robot motions are computed automatically. This saves enormous time and expense in the manufacturing process.

Steven M LaValle 2012-04-20