As we mentioned earlier, interior car door panels in the past were installed completely by people in the past, but now, robots take on many aspects of the process. On some assembly lines, robots are used to fix interior door panels to the exterior door sections by applying a thin bead of adhesive to the exterior section and then compressing the interior section onto the exterior panel [Source: Assembly Magazine]. Operators load the door panels onto a track where they are then assembled by the robots.
Once the two parts are sealed, or clipped, together, some automotive manufacturing plants use robotic cameras to rotate around the interior car panel to ensure that all areas of the interior panel are lined up and sealed properly [Source: Assembly Magazine].The camera then uses LED strobe lights to take multiple pictures in several areas of the door.
If one of the pictures shows an area that is misaligned, the door is pulled off and fixed or replaced. Incorporating these robot cameras ensures that mistakes in the installation process are found and corrected quickly, which saves money on auto manufacturing costs [Source: Assembly Magazine]. It also saves money for the consumer by providing better quality products that require less maintenance.
Interior car panels are becoming more than just an aesthetic part of the door, which means additional installation steps in the auto manufacturing process. Some car companies, such as Ford, add impact-absorbing foam blocks between the inner door panels and the interior trim during the car panel installation process. These foam blocks are placed near the occupant's chest and hip areas to protect them during an impact [Source: Ford]. As safety regulations and consumer interests change, interior car panels and their installation processes continue to adapt to their requirements.
For lots more information about interior car panel installation, see the links on to the next page.
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- Assembly Magazine. Assembly in Action: Auto Manufacturer Uses Vision to Error-Proof Panels. Dec. 1, 2003. (Dec. 24, 2009).http://www.assemblymag.com/Articles/Column/3359e122ce5c9010VgnVCM100000f932a8c0
- Ford. Driver Survives High-Speed Yellowstone Bison Crash to Buy Fusion Again. (Dec. 29, 2009).http://media.ford.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=30290
- Partstrain. Honda Door Panel. (Dec. 26, 2009).http://www.partstrain.com/ShopByDepartment/Door_Panel/HONDA
- Weber, Austin. The Inside Story. Assembly Magazine. Jan. 31, 2007. (Dec 26, 2009).http://www.assemblymag.com/Articles/Cover_Story/BNP_GUID_9-5-2006_A_10000000000000043227