FOCUS logo Back

Erik Novak

4D Technology + General Motors

Shop Floor 3D Characterization of Substrates Through Final Coat


There are a variety of systems designed specifically to characterize the properties of painted surfaces in production to optimize appearance. However, most such systems either fail to provide data which is comprehensive enough to understand what is causing a quality issue or are unable to measure any but the final painted surface. In order to properly control and improve the coating process, rapid, large-area 3D measurement capability is needed that can work at all stages, from initial raw substrates to the final clear coat. Recent research has identified the key spatial wavelengths of interest and worked to correlate various calculations of surface texture with subjective appearance of the coated surfaces. Being able to measure raw as well as coated surfaces with one system is especially important as more materials are used for a single vehicle: steel, aluminum, plastic, and composites. Rapid, complete characterization allows sufficient feedback into the process to identify problems before most value-add operations, while also still allowing simple pass/fail results to day-to-day inspection.

The systems able to perform these measurements were previously limited to the laboratory and took many minutes to hours to measure enough surface area for statistically valid results. This paper will introduce the first hand-held, shop-floor system that can measure almost any surface texture or material in-situ and in mere seconds. This allows rapid process feedback and maintenance of high-quality outputs. Various coated and uncoated samples will be measured and results presented. Additionally, the system’s performance will be evaluated under a variety of conditions and repeatability and reproducibility on various materials presented to prove its robustness and suitability for production process control.


Biography coming soon.