Kentucky-based Kinemetrix, a manufacturer of automated assembly equipment, has developed new scalable, modular EV manufacturing technologies that use 3D vision-guided welding and robotics.
The company’s new Agile3D CopperWeld is a process technology that combines 3D vision and TIG welding for joining small copper leads in EV components. Machine vision finds the leads in 3D space, verifies suitability for welding, and guides the robot to the optimal weld position. Kinemterix says this technology reduces or even eliminates failures that can scrap an expensive part, such as arc-start failures, stray arcs, and off-center welds.
After welding, the 3D vision hardware is used to inspect the joint. A 3D image of the joint is compared against quality criteria to ensure welds conform to all standards. Kinemetrix says that automated inspection of these welds is critical because a single EV component can have from 50 to 200 individual welds, or more – far too many for human inspection.
Kinemetrix has also developed a new technology for Form in Place Gaskets (FIPG), a common solution for EV components. While FIPG dispensing heads are commonly carried by a robot, Kinemetrix’s FIPG solution integrates a robot servo motor into the dispensing head. Controlled as a robot 7th axis, Kinemetrix says the technology tightly couples dispensing volumes to robot speeds. The combination of machine vision and servo-controlled dispensing creates a process that can consistently maintain bead width, height, and location on narrow, complex flanges.
Kinemetrix has taken all the manufacturing steps and combined them into modular, scalable production lines with full data traceability. The company says these lines allow a mixture of automated and manual processes when volumes are low, and provide a growth path to full automation as volume increases.