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High Precision Control of Welding Robots

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Challenge:

The use of Computer-on-Modules in the automotive industry is a major challenge due to the specific requirements of the application environment. Welding robots must precisely hit static points on the car body to maintain the physical integrity and characteristics of the car structure. Automotive production runs 24 hours a day without interruption and any faults on the line result in increased costs. Therefore, precision and reliability are especially important.

Application Architecture

Precision control workflow
A car body consists of numerous components that are joined together by welding robots. In order to ensure the job quality of the welding robot, a specialized high speed camera system scans the work flow, taking pictures and comparing the data with the design blueprint in real time. Key aspects for high quality are the angle, position and speed of the robot. To make an accurate assessment, the camera records at 500 fps 4 MP resolution. The data are transferred from the camera to the control unit, stored and evaluated. If the data does not match the required specifications, the control unit corrects the position of the robot. The evaluation of the data stream in real-time and calculation of necessary corrections requires high processing power and fast data transfer rates.

The welding robots operate at high standards of precision and their control units are able to regulate the motors that control robot motion in extremely small gradations. They must move to defined positions repeatedly with an accuracy of ±0.08 mm - little more than the thickness of a sheet of paper. The core component of the control unit is a COM Express Type 6 Module which the customer uses to control the various robots on the production line. Precise and reliable control of the robots relies on continuous processing performance that needs to be provided under varying environmental conditions, including wide temperature fluctuations, shock and vibration.

Processing, I/O

The control unit of a welding robot must possess high performance embedded computing characteristics and networking capabilities. ADLINK's Express-HLE COM Express module fulfills these needs with its 3rd generation Intel® Core™ i7 quad-core processor, up to 16GB Dual Channel DDR3-1600 SDRAM and Gigabit Ethernet port and is able to handle the high processing requirements and transmit the heavy data load. Furthermore the Express-HLE is designed to support the extremes of shock, vibration and extended operating temperatures.

Related products:

cExpress-BL Express-HL cExpress-HL
cExpress-BL Express-HL cExpress-HL

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