Moving towards in-line metrology: evaluation of a Laser Radar system for in-line dimensional inspection for automotive assembly systems

Ercihan Kiraci, Pasquale Franciosa, Glen Turley, Alan Olifent, Alex Attridge, Mark A Williams

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38 Citations (Scopus)
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The increasing interest towards intelligent systems has led to a demand for the development of zero-defect strategies, with a paradigm shift from off-line and dedicated to in-line metrology with integrated robotic systems. However, a major barrier preventing the systematic uptake of in-line metrology is the lack of evaluation of system capability in terms of accuracy, repeatability and measurement time, when compared to the well-established coordinate measuring machine (CMM). In this study, a robotic Laser Radar (LR) solution is assessed in the context of automotive dimensional inspection of Body-In-White (BIW) applications. The objective is both to understand the effect of robot re-positioning error on measurement accuracy and repeatability and to compare measurement results against a CMM. Eighty-one surface points, six edge points, twenty-five holes and sixteen slots were selected from an industry standard measurement plan. Whilst LR exhibits a lower measurement accuracy than twin-column CMM, its repeatability is well within the specification limits for body shell quality inspection. Therefore, as a real-time in-line metrology tool, it is a genuine prospect to exploit. This research makes a significant contribution toward in-line metrology for dimensional inspection, for automotive application, for rapid detection and for correction of assembly defects in real time, with subsequent reduction of scrap and number of repairs/re-works.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69–78
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology
Early online date17 Nov 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.


This work was carried out as part of the Product Evaluation Technologies Group, within WMG, in part funded by the High Value Manufacturing Catapult.


  • CMM
  • Laser Radar
  • Dimensional metrology
  • In-line measurement
  • Process control


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