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Automated Seat Testing with Precision Robots

Stäubli Robotics

Setting quality standards

When it comes to car seats, automobile manufacturers leave nothing to chance, because they know that this item is crucial not only for the passengers’ comfort but also for their safety. The seat is the interface between the driver and the vehicle and must satisfy a variety of criteria. Nowadays, OEMs ensure the quality of vehicle seats with an array of tests. Robotic solutions have proven highly effective in different applications.

For many years now, the robotics measurement experts at Marburg-based Battenberg Robotic GmbH & Co. KG have specialized in fulfilling demanding quality assurance tasks for the automotive industry. In the area of seat testing, Battenberg has the right solution in its program for each task to be carried out. Typical applications include headrest height adjustment, manual seat height adjustment, easy entry tests for backrest and fore-and-aft adjustment, determining the amount of give in the seat squab, checking the distance from head to head restraint, simulating getting in and out, and, last but not least, determining the “H-point”, which the Volkswagen Group uses to verify the correct seating position for the driver within the vehicle.

Battenberg favors Stäubli precision robots to provide appropriate automation solutions. The larger six-axis machines in the TX series are the robots of choice, equipped with a 3-axis force and torque sensor which, depending on the application, can be adapted to accept special tools or dummies. The accuracy and motion control of the robot plays a key role while the sensitive testing tasks are carried out. Ultimately, the robot must translate the slightest command into an exact mechanical micro-movement. Stäubli’s in-house drive technology, which has motor and transmission combined in one unit, has proven to be extremely accurate and fast for this application.

The Stäubli robots are ideally suited for mobile measurement robotics, not only because of their outstanding performance but also because of their compact design, low weight and long reach. “What we also really appreciate is the enclosed structure of the six-axis robot with internal cabling to IP65 standard,” says Günter Battenberg, CEO, Battenberg Robotic GmbH & Co. KG. “The robots have also proved to be very resistant to heat and operate extremely well in all conditions. Another major bonus is the performance of the controller, with outstanding real-time response.” 

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