Newton Labs User Interface
User Interface for the tire and wheel system

Wheel & Tire Identification System

Tire & wheel matching line
The wheel and tire identification line.

The Challenge:

Auto assembly plants produce many different models that are interspersed throughout different assembly lines, each with different tire and wheel sets. Tire and wheel subcontractors, often in different states, pre-mount the numerous types of tires to the numerous styles of wheels for specific makes and models of vehicles and group them in sets in the same order that the cars will later be assembled at remote plants.
The challenge to Newton engineers was to develop a system able to identify and verify that the correct combination of tires and wheels were present, correctly mounted and grouped in matching sets.

The Solution:

Newton engineers developed a system composed of two area scan cameras and custom illuminators installed within an enclosure on a production line moving at 60 ft. (18.3 m) per minute. One camera and illuminator identified the wheel style by design and measured the tire ID and OD. The second camera and illuminator identified the tire style by tread recognition. If the combination of the expected features did not match the schedule, the system was halted until humans could fix or adjust the queue. The system was also were able to do the inspection when the wheels were stacked, before shipping a set of four.
Additionally, the system produced a searchable database of thumbnail images for all wheels and tires processed that could be used by quality assurance personnel.

  

Newton Labs

Technology Applied:

Pattern Matching

Location: Columbia, Tennessee