Leakage Testing in Automobile Production
Relative measuring detects humidity
Together with its partners Smartrac and Vilant, Turck offers the world's first system solution for fully automated leakage testing in automobile production. The system is based on UHF-RFID technology and detects all leakages in car bodies without the need for any manual intervention. For this the car body is fitted during the production process with self-adhesive tags at relevant points, which react to humidity.
Before the vehicle is driven into the rain spray chamber as part of the final inspection, it first of all goes through an RFID gate which registers all the tags. After the spraying process, the car goes through a second RFID gate at the exit, which in turn reads in all the tag data. If humidity has penetrated at any point, the system detects a discrepancy between both read operations and sends an appropriate fault message to the MES system of the user. Car bodies that are affected can thus be removed directly and reworked.
The Sensor Tag
In close collaboration with an automobile manufacturer, Turck has drawn up a requirements profile for the system solution for leakage testing. Project partner Vilant is responsible for the provision of the gates and the integration in the MES system of the user. The sensor tag for detecting humidity was developed and produced by project partner Smartrac.
The passive UHF-RFID sensor tag (Sensor Tadpole) can be stuck directly on metal and later also read in positions that are difficult to access in spite of the surrounding structures of the vehicle. Thanks to this capability and its compact format of 21.5 x 73 mm, the self-adhesive sensor tag can be mounted without any problem at many points in the car body.
If areas have to be monitored where direct mounting is not possible, tag variants with extension strips are available in different lengths. The water reaches the tag via the extension even from places that are otherwise inaccessible.
If the tag detects humidity, it reacts with a change in impedance, which is registered by the RFID read/write heads in the gates. A powerful evaluation software enables the affected point in the vehicle to be localized precisely by means of the collected data.
In Europe the tag works in the 865 to 868 MHz frequency range. Being a passive RFID sensor tag, it does not require a power supply and can remain in the car for its entire lifetime so that it can be read again at any time. The tag draws the required energy from a handheld or the read/write heads of the gates.
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