Low cost three-dimensional virtual model construction for remanufacturing industry

Siddiqi, Muftooh U. R. and Ijomah, Winifred L. and Dobie, Gordon I. and Hafeez, Muthair and Pierce, S. Gareth and Ion, William and Mineo, Carmelo and MacLeod, Charles N. (2018) Low cost three-dimensional virtual model construction for remanufacturing industry. Journal of Remanufacturing. ISSN 2210-4690

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    Abstract

    Remanufactured products can save up to 80% of production and energy costs whilst generating lower CO2 emissions. The key success factors for remanufacturing are quality, lead-time and cost. Extensive work within the industry and the detailed analysis of the remanufacturing process has shown that component inspection has significant bearing on overall productivity. Remanufacturing lacks automation because activities are predominantly manual. Automation of remanufacturing process will not only decrease the number of non-remanufacturable components, through decreasing cost and increasing consistency in quality, but also attract industries to design for remanufacture. A digital model of the component is required to automate the disassembly process and move towards industry 4.0 and cyber physical systems. There are several expensive techniques to create a digital model, which are not feasible for the remanufacturing industry. The research paper aims to check feasibility of using Visual Structure for Motion (VFM), a relatively low cost method, to develop a 3D digital model, for automation of the automotive engine (in as received condition) disassembly process using industrial robots. These initial experiments assess the feasibility of using Videogrammetry to acquire pre-disassembly 3D model of the engine. Multiple 2D images were acquired and processed to find matching common features. The location of the camera was calculated through the matching features, producing a three-dimensional digital representation of the captured volume. A sparse point cloud was initially created which and was then converted into a dense 3D point cloud. The 3D point cloud was converted into a meshed model. 2D images are stitched together to create a virtual model of the engine with surface texture and colour. Small features of a few couple of millimetres in size are clearly visible in the 3D model.