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Resources and Capabilities

In-Process Quality Improvement (IPQI) Laboratory


ABB IRB 6620 Robot mounted on robot track

DESCRIPTION: A 7-axis industrial manipulator arm robot with 6 rotational joints and 1 linear joint (i.e. robot track). The robot system is equipped with the Hexagon WLS400A stereo vision system.
USE: The robot is used to accurately position the WLS400A vision system and automate the inspection task(s) by programming the scanning path that connects the viewpoints. The scanning path robot program is automatically generated offline through digital model-based methodologies and then automatically downloaded to the robot controller in order to be execute. The robot system is used in the development of a dynamic adaptive inspective system for in-process quality improvement of stamping and body-in-white assembly processes with sheet metal parts.
Payload: 150 kg
Reach 2.2 m
Number of axis: 7 (i.e. 6 rotational joints and 1 robot track)
Position repeatability: 0.03 mm

Hexagon WLS400A

DESCRIPTION: The WLS400A uses digital stereo vision technology to generate highly accurate 3D data of the scanned objects/geometries. The system is capable of scanning both single-point and full-surface measurements in few seconds. The WLS400A is integrated in the robot system of the ABB IRB 6620 robot.
USE: The WLS400A is used to perform surface-based inspection of sheet-metal parts. The stereo vision system is used the development of a dynamic adaptive inspective system for in-process quality improvement of stamping and body-in-white assembly processes with sheet metal parts.
Sensors: 3 synchronised 4.0 mega pixel digital cameras
Coverage area: 360x360 mm
Depth of vision: 18 mm
Metrology performance (probe error): 0.025 mm
Operating temperature: 5 to 35 degrees Celsius

Canon EOS 5D Mark II Mapping Camera

DESCRIPTION: Digital single-lens reflex camera with specific setup for part mapping
USE: The camera is setup specifically for taking photos of marked parts that are needed to generate the mapping for aligning and analysing the scanning data obtained by the Hexagon WLS400A system.
Sensors: 3 synchronised 4.0 mega pixel digital cameras
Coverage area: 360x360 mm
Depth of vision: 18 mm

Cognitens Optigo 200

DESCRIPTION: The Optigo 200 is a portable accurate noncontact measurement and analysis system.
USE: The system is used for surface-based measurements for dimensional inspection of sheet metal parts.
Compact, non-contact 3D measurement system
Sensors: high-resolution CCD cameras

Hexagon/Romer/Cimcore Infinite 2.0 CMM

DESCRIPTION: The Infinite 2.0 is a portable coordinate measurement machine
USE: The system is used for single point-based measurements for dimensional inspection of sheet-metal parts.
Compact, non-contact 3D measurement system

Alufix fixture toolkit

DESCRIPTION: Alufix is a modular fixturing system for measuring fixtures, checking gauges, assembly or welding fixtures.
USE: The Alufix fixture toolkit is used for fixtures to hold sheet metal parts for inspection with the WLS400A system or the Optigo system.

Workstation with Hexagon software

DESCRIPTION: PC workstation dedicated to Hexagon WLS400A system and the ABB IRB6620 robot systems.
USE: The workstation is used for offline programming the scanning for the ABB IRB6620 robot and the WLS400A to perform dimensional inspection of sheet metal parts. This includes generating the part mapping, programming robot scanning path, teach and evaluate the scanned tiles, as well as obtaining calibrating the WLS400A, executing inspection tasks and processing the scanning data to generate reports.
Software specifications:Integrated communication connections to robot controller and WLS400A system
Hexagon metrology software suite for white light scanner systems, includes CoreView Lite, CoreView Plan, CoreView Pro, CoreView Teach, and CoreView Mapping.
ABB RobotStudio



Provides testing facility for remote laser welding applied to steel aluminium and dissimilar metal joining, with research focussing on:

  1. Process optimisation and welding process parameters selection
  2. Fixture locating layout for deformable parts
  3. Robot trajectory planning and cycle time optimisation
  4. Real-time in-process monitoring and quality improvement
The technology has been chosen for the development of production pilot (TRL7 and above) of a sport utility vehicle.


  • Capability to weld Steel, Aluminium, Titanium and dissimilar metals
  • Gap bridging capability for different gaps and different thicknesses
  • Real-time capability to automatically adjust the process parameters, in order to achieve zero-defect welds
  • Cycle time savings up to 75% if compared to similar Resistance Spot Welding (RSW) applications
  • Cycle time saving up to 20% if compared to similar Close coupled laser welding (CCLW) process

Technical specification  


Working distance from the workpiece: 150 mm
Max scan frequency: 500 Hz
Collimation length: 150 mm
Focal length: 300 mm
Rayleigh length: 3.12 mm
Spot Ø at focus: 0.27 mm
Max image rate: 2400 image/sec
Max lateral image field: ≥ 10mm

Laser diode system Max. output power: 6 kW
Wavelength range: 1080 nm ± 20 nm
Beam quality: 6 mm⸳rad

Net cooling capacity: 24.3 kW
Refrigerant: R410A
Coolant: Water or Water/Glycol
Tank volume: 160 l
Coolant outlet temperature: from -10 ◦C up to 30 ◦C
Coolant flow: 2.1 m3/h

ROBOTIC ARM – ABB 6700-235

• Number of axes: 6
• Reach: 2.65 m
• Handling capacity: 235 kg
• Path repeatability: 0.08 mm


• Number of axes: 2
• Handling capacity: 500
• Path repeatability: 0.05 mm
• Max rotation speed axis 1: 90◦/s
• Max rotation speed axis 2: 150◦/s


• Detector type: uncooled microbolometer
• Spectral range: 7.5 – 14 µm
• Max. resolution: 640 x 480
• Frame rate (at max. res.): 50 Hz
• Measured temperature range: standard 100 ◦C to 650 ◦C, optional up to 2000 ◦C
• Bump/Vibration: 25 g / 2 g


• Capable of measuring focus, power and quality of the beam
• Max power density range: from 10 kW/cm2 (diode laser) up to 30 MW/cm2 (CO2 laser)
• Beam diameter: from 150 µm up to 2000 µm
• Wavelength: 1.06 µm or 10.6 µm


• Capable to measure any organic (such as oil and wax) contamination at surfaces
• Sensor: photodiode
• Principle: florescence
• Detector: 460nm
• Measurement range: [0, 2000] RFU (RFU=Relative Florescence Unit)


Simulation solutions developed in the DLM group as part of the R&D projects


VRM 3.0 (Variation Response Method), 2018
Application: Integration of new modules: (a) thermal simulation; (b) multi-stage assembly simulation; (c) interface for Machine Learning
Software platform: C++ with OpenMP and Matlab
VRM 2.0 (Variation Response Method), 2016
Application: Integration of new modules: (a) robotics (task sequencing; path planning; collision checking); (b) laser weld simulation in keyhole & conduction mode
Software platform: C++ with OpenMP and Matlab
VRM 1.0 (Variation Response Method), 2013
Application: Modular simulation toolkit with capability to model and optimize (stochastic optimisation) assembly system with non-ideal compliant sheet-metal parts (single-stage assembly)
Software platform: C++ with OpenMP and Matlab
SVA-FEA (Statistical Variation Analysis – Finite Element Analysis), 2008
Application: Variation simulation of single- and multi-station assembly system with compliant parts (ideal parts only)
Software platform: Matlab linked to MSC Nastran FEA processor
FEMP (Finite Element Method & Programming), 2010
Application: Open-source FEM solver with capability to model thin and thick shell elements (applications to sheet-metal parts)
Software platform: first release in Scilab and then translated to Matlab

Other software available at the DLM

  • DESCRIPTION: Multi-paradigm numerical computing environment with proprietary programming language
  • USE: MATLAB is used by the members of the DLM group for a broad range of tasks concerning with r performing numerical computations, modelling, data analysis and visualisations as well as development of in-house software libraries.
  • CAPABILITIES: MATLAB provides the capability for rapid and easy-to-debug developments of scripts, computer models and re-usable software libraries and thereby enables convenient utilisation of computational power to solve numerical mathematical problems. MATLAB’s broad and easy-to-use capabilities for visualisation is used for visualising research results so that these are easy to interpret and highlight the specific novelties and contributions.
Microsoft Visual Studio
  • DESCRIPTION: Integrated Development Environment (IDE) software application as well as websites, etc.
  • USE: Microsoft Visual Studio is generally used by the members of the DLM group for implement specific computational procedures as scripts or algorithms using the C\C++ computer programming language.
  • CAPABILITIES: Having the capability to implement scripts and algorithms using the C\C++ language in the Microsoft Visual Studio IDE provides the capability to perform specific computations faster and in parallel. It also enables to integrate the computationally efficient C\C++ scripts and algorithms within the in-house developed MATLAB software libraries
COMSOL Multiphysics
  • DESCRIPTION: Finite element analysis, solver and multi-physics simulation software
  • USE: COMSOL is being used by the DLM group for structural thermal analysis of laser welding and thermography, as well as thermal key-hole modelling of laser-welding. COMSOL is also used for benchmarking in-house developed finite-element analysis computations.
  • CAPABILITIES: COMSOL provides a unified workflow through physics-based user interfaces for formulating and solving the corresponding partial-differential equations, and thereby the capability to develop multi-physics models for specific aspects related to the laser-welding process.
SolidWorks, Autodesk, CATIA
  • DESCRIPTION: Computer-Aided-Design (CAD) software
  • USE: Create and handle 3D models of (complex) solid and sheet metal parts
  • CAPABILITIES: Enables us to consider (complex) real-world industrial parts and components provided by industrial partners as case-studies within the research work.
  • DESCRIPTION: Multi-disciplinary finite element CAE pre- and post-processor
  • USE: Hypermesh is used for generating specific high-quality mesh representations of sheet metal parts and subassemblies that are subsequently used for finite element analysis or for part variation modelling.
  • CAPABILITIES: Hypermesh provides the capability to obtain and modify mesh model representations of complex 3D geometries as well as part assemblies.
Geomagic (Wrap 2017)
  • DESCRIPTION: Toolbox to transform 3D scan data (cloud of points) into 3D models
  • USE: Geomagic is used for reverse engineering 3D models from scanned could of points data.
  • CAPABILITIES: Geomagic provides the capability to generate 3D models from and/or process the large scanning datasets obtained from dimensional inspection systems.
ABB RobotStudio
  • DESCRIPTION: Integrated development environment for offline robot programming and simulation
  • USE: RobotStudio is used for developing robot programs offline and verifying these through realistic robot simulation (RRS).
  • CAPABILITIES: RobotStudio provides the capability to program and evaluate the motions of the robot and manipulator that move the welding gun and fixture with the parts that are being welding, and thereby thus the welding path and speed, similarly for the dimensional inspection robot with stereo vision camera system.
  • DESCRIPTION: Software to simulate various business scenarios using Discrete Event Simulation (DES)
  • USE: SIMUL8 simulation software is used for simulating systems that involve processing of discrete entities at discrete times in various areas such as healthcare, manufacturing and other business environments. SIMUL8 is a tool for planning, design, optimization and reengineering of real production, manufacturing, logistic or service provision systems.
  • CAPABILITIES: SIMUL8 allows its user the capabilities to create a computer model, which takes into account real life constraints, capacities, failure rates, shift patterns, and other factors affecting the total performance and efficiency of the system of interest. Through this model, it is possible to test real scenarios in a virtual environment. SIMUL8 uses dynamic discrete simulation, which makes it possible to provide unambiguous and concrete results and proofs - information on how the designed or optimized system will actually function.
Unity VR
  • DESCRIPTION: Virtual Reality development platform, primarily used to develop both three-dimensional and two-dimensional video games and simulation for computers and mobile devices.
  • USAGE: Unity3D is used as part of the project about digital simulation of the remote laser welding process.
  • CAPABILITIES: Unity allows us to develop a virtual 3D space connected to different engineering tools like CAD and CAE in which it simulates the remote laser welding process.
For more details about research facilities at WMG, please visit facility repository.