Robotic accuracy streamlines Shatterprufe production

The team at Robotic Innovations are proud to have installed many robotic systems for automotive supplier Shatterprufe, a division of the PG Group.

Shatterprufe supply about 1.2 million windscreens and 2.5 million toughened glass per year of which 50% is for local and 50% for export to Europe and USA. Windscreens no longer only provide safety for the occupants and structural strength to the vehicle, but also have various windscreen attachments – features like cameras for lane departure warning and pedestrian recognition, rain sensors and mirror bosses to name a few.

One recent project that stands out is the 2D camera bracket placement robotic cell, recently installed and commissioned at their Garankuwa factory.

The camera brackets are larger than what is usually placed with this kind of system. The size and placement accuracy of the brackets, are what adds to the complexity of this robotic project. Larger parts have more play and rotation and thus less placement accuracy. The Fanuc robotic vision system setup needed to be accurate to tolerances of less than 0.5mm.

The cell that Robotic Innovations implemented for this Shatterprufe project features the Fanuc M20iA, which is a 20kg payload (±80 microns repeatability) handling robot.

An operator applies primer to the parts and strips of special double-sided tape – these are for securing the brackets on the windscreens while the PU (Glue) cures. Once the primer is dry, the operator loads the brackets into the loading trays. These camera bracket trays and glass are then loaded into the robot cell.

Designed to be easy to install in confined spaces, this lightweight compact 6 axis hollow wrist assembly robot is perfect for multi-material handling operations involving payloads that require added cable protection.

The robot then takes a photo of the bracket and using this image, the robot then adjusts in X, Y and orientation to align the gripper with the bracket.

The bracket is then taken to a fully automated system which removes the backing tape from the double sided tape. After this, a perfect bead of PU is applied to the bracket with the PU path depending on the bracket type.

The robot then takes the bracket to the windscreen location Jig, which was also designed and manufactured by Robotic Innovations. The bracket is then lined up with the silkscreened area on the windscreen, by once again using the Fanuc 2D robotic camera system. The robot has force monitoring software, which it uses to apply the correct force onto the bracket to securely adhere the camera brackets to the windscreens.

This robotic solution has become critical to the functionality of the camera systems within the vehicles. Human inaccuracy due to the tedious nature of the process would render the vehicle camera systems as non-functional.

“Once again, it was a pleasure working with Robotic Innovations” says Barry Clemence, Automation Project Manager for Shatterprufe. “Over the years, we have developed engineering standards with Robotic Innovations that have been reused”