Traditional Robotic Automation requires the work piece to be accurately and repeatably presented to the robot every time. This means that parts need to have little part to part variance and that they are accurately fixtured for presentation to the robot. Fixturing costs often exceed the cost of the robot and other integration. This cost has prevented the use of robotic automation in high mix low volume manufacturing as is typical of composite manufacturing in North America.
3D Vision Sensors guide robots to the fixture free work piece and help the robots to adapt to part location, orientation, and feature variance. The fixture free robotic work cell can process different parts in succession without expensive fixturing to present and locate each part. Composite drill and trim of fiberglass products is one of many applications that vision guided robotics can show a payback where a fixtured system may not.