The 3D imaging system applies varying degrees and angles of light while scoping the paint surface of vehicle bodies to identify dirt in paint and other irregular paint conditions. High-resolution images – 3,150 images are captured in 15 seconds for every vehicle made – are stitched together for a full 3D image that is digitally compared to a perfect computer model.
Click here to view a video of Ford's dirt detection technology in action.
The dirt on the dirt
Dirt particles in paint are difficult to manage with conventional quality control methods. Minute particles can enter a shop floor from multiple environmental sources, machinery or workers, which makes paint quality one of the toughest variables to control in production. Along with Dearborn Truck Plant, the automated inspection system is now being used in the United States at Ford's Kentucky Truck Plant."This is one of the most exciting integrations of optical science and digital technology in the automotive industry," said Dougan. "By combining innovations in vision technology, processing speed and software, Ford continues to invent new technologies that give our customers better paint quality and surpass competitor offerings." Locations Globally, dirt detection technology is used at three Ford assembly plants. Here are the plants and the vehicles built there:
- Valencia Assembly Plant, Valencia, Spain: Ford C-MAX (Grand C-MAX and compact models)
- Dearborn Truck Plant, Dearborn, Mich.: Ford F-Series
- Kentucky Truck Plant, Louisville, Ky.: Ford Expedition, Ford Super Duty
- Louisville Assembly Plant, Louisville, Ky.: Ford Escape
- Chicago Assembly Plant, Chicago: Ford Taurus, Ford Police Interceptor, Ford Explorer
- Oakville Assembly, Oakville, Ontario, Canada: Ford Edge, Ford Flex
- Flat Rock Assembly Plant, Flat Rock, Mich.: Ford Mustang, Ford Fusion
- Kansas City Assembly Plant, Claycomo, Mo.: Ford F-Series