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This paper describes the design and implementation of a novel inspection system for detecting defects on car bodies based on artificial vision, implemented in Ford Factory at Almussafes (Spain). The system is based on the principle of performing a lightning sweeping with static imagining system, which causes shadows surrounding defects when merging consecutive images, coined as defect augmentation phenomena. As a result, we can detect millimetric defects of 0.3mm diameter or greater with different shapes which were very hard to detect with existing technology without that phenomena. The project has generated two PTC patents, the first one protects the defect augmentation phenomena, while the second protects the industrial system itself. The main innovation of this industrial project is the development of a system that improves in almost 100% the human inspection. As a consequences, it reduces the number of invalid vehicles, energy consumption, saving painting which also implies a significant cost reduction. It also improves working conditions for workers by reducing ocular fatigues.
Date of Conference: 9-13 May 2011