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Quality control challenges

Automotive interiors are a major area of engineering with complex and unique manufacturing challenges. Poor fit and finish can lead to squeaks and rattles, which can be annoying and lead to time consuming rework and expensive warranty repairs. Therefore, car manufacturers carry out extensive checks of fit and finish on interior and dashboard surfaces of cars, all of which present significant challenges in inspection, measurement and overall quality control.

On many of today’s car models where typically material types such as chrome trim often meet between parts, fit and finish has become even more challenging with a combination of complex components and geometries to measure. As well as this, a multitude of surface conditions such as highly contoured surfaces and contrasting colours can cause measurement issues.

For example gaps between components can be extremely small, and in some cases with many measurement areas of interest close together, adds further inspection challenges. In addition, components such as roof lining or glove boxes can also be soft or unfixed, meaning that any form of contact will immediately compromise any measurement data collected. 

GapGun masters complex interior measurements for automotive manufacturers

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A critical, yet incredibly complex area of inspection, many manufacturers have turned to the GapGun and the expertise of Third Dimension for assistance.  With many years of experience, and having designed laser metrology systems to cope with the most complex of geometries, Third Dimension is well positioned to assist customers with their unique measurement challenges.  Furthermore, the GapGun has a number of innovative features that make interior inspection quick, easy and repeatable.

The key advantages: 

Quick and adaptable
The GapGun’s built in patented laser line splitter means very small gaps such as button arrays can be measured, even where there may be a number of similar geometries in one location. In addition, the GapGun’s SPC3d laser metrology software even allows measurement of highly unusual freeform surfaces, with measurements processed in seconds.

Unbeatable surface measurement capability
Using the GapGun's industry leading HiRange Measurement heads, the system automatically and dynamically responds to colour and surface conditions each time a measurement is taken, with no need for interaction from the operator.  Consequently, even gloss black, carbon fibre, reflective and high contrast surfaces are measureable.

No surface damage
With the ability to operate as a completely non contact device, nothing need ever touch the surface of parts during the laser gage measurement. This ensures measurement confidence and component integrity without worrying about repeatability or surface damage. GapGun provides a solution to measuring soft, unfixed and delicate parts, eliminating surface deflection on soft or moveable parts such as headliner or glove box. Furthermore, for easier positioning, GapGun can also be used in contact with no scratch stand offs.

Completely portable
The GapGun’s lightweight and rugged design can be used completely autonomously using its clip on battery pack for operation up to 6.5 hours on a single charge.  With no cable or waistpack restrictions, operators have the flexibility to easily access interior measurements or reach high on 4x4 vehicles, for example. With storage capacity for thousands of measurements, the GapGun is designed to be used on the shop floor for extended periods without need for any additional hardware.

Instant results display
GapGun takes a measurement in a matter of seconds  with results appearing on screen for operator benefit (including colour coding to indicate tolerance conditions), as well as being stored in a multitude of formats for data handling.  Live data feed indicates corrective action, should a measurement fall out of tolerance. 

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