Automotive closures are a complex area of engineering, requiring tight geometries to ensure that performance remains consistent over what can be a very demanding product life.  As well as external, visible gaps, it is also important to measure the internal closure gap dimensions where door seals will ultimately be fitted. 

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GapGun measures external body gaps and seal gaps with one instrument, to afford a reliable and simple solution.

Working with a large automotive manufacturer in the UK, Third Dimension developed a method to measure the seal gap void between automotive bodies and doors to provide accurate, repeatable and fast measurement data using a custom made, patented fixture called a friction block.

GapGun can measure seal gaps from 0mm to 50mm with a measurement capability of better than 0.2mm (0.008”). This allows you to control tolerance bands of +/-0.5mm (+/-0.02”) and provides R&R scores better than 15%.

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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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GapGun facilitate quick and easy quality inspection of airbag split line

For automotive manufacturers, ensuring the airbag split line dimensions are quality checked is a safety critical aspect of production. The airbag split line causes the airbag module, for example in the steering wheel or dashboard, to split out and deploy in the event of a road traffic accident. Depth and width of the split line dictate how well the mechanism works.

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Controlling critical dimensions

Automotive manufacturers are faced with the risk that if the critical dimensions of this split line aren’t controlled and the component deploys incorrectly, the airbag deploys unevenly or incorrectly and doesn’t protect the driver.