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Laser vision technology is one part of Ford’s overall drive to achieve industry leadership in customer satisfaction. This new technology is being used during assembly of the 2012 Ford Focus at Michigan Assembly Plant and also at the Saarlouis, Germany, plant, among others.
Ford’s new laser-guided quality initiative builds on end-of-line robotic technology pioneered by Ford’s European team. The robots are programmed to measure points on each vehicle as it moves past the line and recognize any minute deviations from the correct specification. The robots are even empowered to shut down the assembly line if the cameras detect a door does not fit Ford’s exacting quality measurements.
“Ford’s robotic laser technology gives us a degree of precision like never before,” said Ron Ketelhut, chief engineer, Body Construction Engineering. Ford first used the system in Germany and, after seeing quality gains, quickly rolled it out to plants around the world. The technology helps ensure car door panels fit more accurately and reduce wind noise, a key quality factor for consumers and a major industry challenge.