Using innovative technological solutions, Ford Motor Company SA has today let us into their paint shop located at its Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria.
Now, before you get all up in arms about lockdown restrictions, Ford’s manufacturing facilities in South Africa are currently closed due to the lockdown, however, they have shared information on the company’s state of the art facilities including a first of its kind automated paint defect detection system used.
Along with the capacity increases achieved following a R3-billion investment between 2016 and 2019, Ford invested extensively in cutting-edge production and quality systems that ensure its vehicles meet the most stringent standards – and deliver a high level of satisfaction for customers around the world.
One of the key technologies introduced in 2019 is an advanced Paint Defect Detection System in the Silverton plant’s vast 12 000 square metre Paint Shop, which is able to detect even the smallest paint imperfections. This fully automated and computerised system scans the paintwork of every vehicle body, and replaced the manual inspection process employed previously.
The Paint Defect Detection System is a fully automated process that uses a specially developed light tunnel equipped with 21 high-resolution cameras. It relies on a three-dimensional imaging system that applies varying degrees and angles of light while performing microscopic scans of each painted vehicle surface to detect any imperfections that occurred during the painting process.
Over 3 000 images are captured in 15 seconds for every vehicle body produced, which are stitched together for a full 3D image that is digitally compared to a perfect computer model. The 3D rendering highlights dirt particles or surface imperfections by size (finer than a grain of salt) and its precise location. These are then attended to by skilled production operators along one of two manicure lines before final inspection and buy-off, after which the body can proceed to the assembly line.
The paint inspection technology is fully integrated into Ford’s global production quality database for its manufacturing operations that is accessible from anywhere in the world via the company’s secure intranet. It links the images taken and the imperfections detected with the vehicle identification number (VIN) for full traceability and quality assessments.
In addition to this, the system enables constant monitoring and feedback on real-time data based on the number of defects by colour, model, body panel so that corrective actions can be implemented immediately to address any quality concerns in the paint process.
You might also like
More from Cars
When you arrive late, you can either slink in through the back door, or make a dramatic entrance: Hyundai chose …
Jaguar's XF sedan has received a R-Dynamic Black edition upgrade developed from the XF R-Dynamic S. The XF’s Black Pack …