|Abstract: ||This thesis examines an automated method to detect surface deformations on automotive panels for the purpose of quality control along a manufacturing assembly line.
Automation in the automotive manufacturing industry is becoming more prominent, but quality control is still largely performed by human workers. Quality control is important in the context of automotive body panels as deformations can occur along the assembly line such as inadequate handling of parts or tools around a vehicle during assembly, rack storage, and shipping from subcontractors. These defects are currently identified and marked, before panels are either rectified or discarded. This work attempts to develop an automated system to detect deformations to alleviate the dependence on human workers in quality control and improve performance by increasing speed and accuracy.
Some techniques make use of an ideal CAD model behaving as a master work, and panels scanned on the assembly line are compared to this model to determine the location of deformations. This thesis presents a solution for detecting deformations of various scales without a master work. It also focuses on automated analysis requiring minimal intuitive operator-set parameters and provides the ability to classify the deformations as dings, which are deformations that protrude from the surface, or dents, which are depressions into the surface.
A complete automated deformation detection system is proposed, comprised of a feature extraction module, segmentation module, and classification module, which outputs the locations of deformations when provided with the 3D mesh of an automotive panel. Two feature extraction techniques are proposed. The first is a general feature extraction technique for 3D meshes using octrees for multi-resolution analysis and evaluates the amount of surface variation to locate deformations. The second is specifically designed for the purpose of deformation detection, and analyzes multi-resolution cross-sections of a 3D mesh to locate deformations based on their estimated size. The performance of the proposed automated deformation detection system, and all of its sub-modules, is tested on a set of meshes which represent differing characteristics of deformations in surface panels, including deformations of different scales. Noisy, low resolution meshes are captured from a 3D acquisition, while artificial meshes are generated to simulate ideal acquisition conditions. The proposed system shows accurate results in both ideal situations as well as non-ideal situations under the condition of noise and complex surface curvature by extracting only the deformations of interest and accurately classifying them as dings or dents.|