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A Machine Vision Approach to Checking Upholstered Panels

Upholstered panels

The truck and auto industry use a wide variety of upholstered panels to trim out vehicle interiors. Decision Technology, LLC has developed a system for a manufacturer of such panels that verifies the as built condition of finished panels. Upon completion of build, the panel is placed on a large inspection table. The barcode is read and the system proceeds to verify that the panel is built in accordance with the build criteria as specified by that bar code.

The system uses a pair of overhead color cameras in conjunction with a dual front and back lighting technique.

Verifications include:

  • Button count (150+ on larger panels)
  • Primary color
  • Secondary color
  • Panel Style (diamond, strip, flat)

Presence/absence of:

  • Cutouts (for speakers, lights, etc.)
  • Hole clusters
  • Sew Lines
Light table

Panel sizes range up to 120 inches in length and 72 inches in width. Colors range from various shades of gray and blue, to burgundy, black and others.

Button verification poses a complex problem due to the wide range of colors and texture around the inlay. Along with a high sensitivity setting to ensure missing buttons are detected, on occasion, a button that is present may fail. In this case the operator is asked to verify its presence. The GUI highlights all point of failures making it easy for the operator to check. All results can be recorded into a log file along with part number and date/time stamp which can be imported into Excel.

A GUI teach tool developed specifically for this application makes it easy to teach new panel configurations to the system, typically less than 5 minutes for complex panels.