Nextsense lets human-robot teams measure gaps
The human-robot collaboration (HRC) presents the future of factories that has already begun. NEXTSENSE GmbH, the Austrian manufacturer of optical measurement devices, is at the forefront of this development. Their CALIPRI model series for the gap and flush measurement is now extended by a model variant suitable for the use in the HRC area and has recently been implemented for the first time in the automobile mass production at one of Germans premium car manufacturers.
Humans play the most important roles in every production plant – and the latest industrial robots are used to relieve their hard and complex work. Activities involving permanent stress or fatigue are typical application areas of mechanical colleagues – while the tasks, where IQ is required over muscles, are carried out by a human. A synergistic, safe and barrier free cooperation between human and robot is, therefore, a future of industrial production. The first applications are currently being tested in the well-known industrial companies and the Austrian enterprise NEXTSENSE GmbH is thereby at the forefront.
The young high-tech company´s measurement devices called “CALIPRI” are used worldwide for non-contact optical gap and flush inspections. The latest model variant CALIPRI C12 is now for the first time applied to an HRC robot and in operation at one of the German premium segment car manufacturers. The robot and his human colleagues work side by side on a continuous production line – without spatial separation, mechanical barriers or other restrictive and protective apparatuses. Thanks to its positioning accuracy the HRC robot can use the CALIPRI C12 sensor to measure door gaps at exactly predetermined points. At the same time, the human colleagues apply a hand-held CALIPRI measurement device in the same station to evaluate the most important gaps for customers, in the bonnet and rear trunk area. Clemens Gasser, CEO of Nextsense emphasizes thereby the important advantage: "Since both model variants use the same evaluation method to measure dimensions, both results – the ones obtained by human hand as well as those measured by robot hand – can be integrated and used in one inspection protocol. As if the work was done by a single person."
All CALIPRI devices are based on the laser light section technology. The projections of laser lines enable the contactless and highly accurate measurement of almost any profile. Thanks to a unique swivel movement the sensor captures and processes the complete depth of the gap’s contour. Thus, mathematical extrapolation of data is no more needed. Gasser explains: "The innovative measurement technique of our CALIPRI model series aroused the interest of many well known internationally active companies. To keep our devices one step ahead of the ongoing modernization of production processes, we are constantly investing in the further development of our products.“ The evolution of Nextsense’s measurement devices demonstrates this very well: While the first models were designed for a manual quality inspection by hand, they were quickly complemented with the ones that can be operated by fully automated robots in the assembly line production. With this HRC model, the measurement technology provider now finally offers a system for supportive robotics in integrated production lines.