Press panel split detection and necking measurement in car manufacturing

Nissan Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd

National Physical Laboratory
Round 3

Stamping of galvanised steel and aluminium to form vehicle panels can sometimes result in splits forming in the panel.

The split is often in the same ‘historical’ area but the frequency of occurrence is low.

Sometimes the split is hard to see or is not detected by the on-line operators for some other reason.

If undetected the defective panel would be built into a vehicle body which can lead to additional rework or scrapping of the partly built/painted vehicle when the fault is discovered later in the vehicle assembly process.

The aim is to be able to reliably detect these panels at the line (point of production) in real time using some form of automated inspection/detection system.

Variety of split defects: Localised necking, small splits (1mm) to large splits > 40mm.

This project aims to:
1. Establish a detailed user requirement specification and derive a technical specification.
2. Literature and market survey to identify potential solutions. Given the previous systems tried by NMUK and NPL’s expert knowledge, it is envisaged that an innovative hybrid solution employing more than one technology is likely to be required.
3. Technical assessment of the most appropriate sensor or sensor combination. If practicable, this phase will include lab-based trials of potential sensors if they are available.
4. Recommendation to Nissan on the most appropriate technical solution.
5. Design, build, test prototype device. NMUK will evaluate the recommendation and decide whether to proceed to the next stage: design, build and test a prototype device.

This would be based on the assessment of options and recommendation from NPL, and on NMUK budget requirements.

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