Mauricio Rosales
Carbody Sales Manager
ZEISS México
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Robots Could Accelerate the Automotive Industry’s Transformation

By MBN Staff | Thu, 05/05/2022 - 11:30

Q: How is cobot and robot adoption supporting metrology solutions in the automotive manufacturing segment?

A: In metrology, robots can be used in two different ways. First, to position sensors to capture images and information, which should be done quickly and precisely. For this purpose, industrial robots are more efficient. Second, cobots are used with bigger sensors because they give users more time to operate.

Q: How is Mexico progressing in its transformation toward Industry 5.0 and how is this process impacting workers?

A: Robots have been in Mexico for a long time. Major brands have incorporated them into their facilities in the country. OEMs and auto part manufacturers are their main adopters in Mexico. Cobots are relatively new but some brands and startups are starting to introduce them to the market.

Q: What advancements in inline measurement technology does Zeiss AICell trace offer?

A: AICell automates the measuring process. Automotive assembly requires several simultaneous operations and every single unit passes through the metrology station, which forces a faster measuring process. We have two types of sensors. The first is the standard Imax that uses robots to measure and recalibrates itself every cycle to compensate for variations in temperatures and movement. Our other tool, AICell, incorporates several cameras and components to allow a system to measure without an external calibration system, making it even faster and more independent.

Q: How does the automated guided vehicle (AGV) solution increase employee safety?

A: AGVs are a different kind of robot commonly used to move parts. Our AGVs move and store parts precisely. They have a highly stable structure and maintain temperature control to avoid damaging their systems, helping the robot to find the precise location, which is essential in metrology.

Q: What future do you see in terms of contactless technology and how will these coexist with more traditional solutions?

A: Contactless systems have increased in popularity through different applications, such as scanners or lasers. Many companies are adding these services to their portfolios. Traditional computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) are being replaced by this technology.

Q: How do your solutions target the five core components of electric vehicles (EV)?

A: EVs are becoming a major trend. Mexico produces the E-Mustang in Cuautitlan, State of Mexico, which is a major success for the industry. Many Mexican auto parts manufacturers have supported this transition by producing components for OEMs. Most OEMs are in China, the US and the EU and Mexico sends auto parts to all these markets.

Zeiss is aware that the approach to EVs is different. For example, internal combustion engines (ICE) usually have about 1,000 parts, while hybrid engines need about 12,000 parts. Full EV engines use only 200 parts, making the production process and maintenance easier.

EV manufacturing processes have shortened and require fewer measurements so we need to tackle this market with affordable and attractive solutions. This also applies to the production of other vehicle parts, including recently created products.

Q:  How do you expect vehicle design to change based on customer preferences and new mobility alternatives and what will this mean for metrology solutions?

A: SUVs are decreasing in popularity, which few would have predicted. Consumers are also paying more attention to the interconnectedness of vehicles. In addition, there is an increase in the use of glass in vehicle manufacturing. Glass parts are larger and some cars have ceilings that are fully made out of this material.

EVs will continue to grow in popularity and more Mexican plants will manufacture them. Besides the E-Mustang, there is an initiative in Puebla to launch EV production and more companies are preparing for the future of electromobility in Mexico.

 

ZEISS Industrial Metrology is a leading manufacturer of multidimensional metrology solutions, including coordinated measuring machines, optical and multisensor systems and metrology software for the automotive, aviation, mechanical engineering, plastics and medical technology industries.

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