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Types of Defects - Automotive - Panels

Panel design and manufacture has become a lot more complex with modern day cars, the sheets undergo greater stresses during formation and the surface is made up of many more layers with a lot more choice in colours. As these increase, the need for automated inspection does as well. In this article we cover some of the defects encountered and a few of the ways they can be inspected using machine vision.



Sheet metals undergo extreme forces during the stamping / pressing operations that form automotive panels. Due to it's elastic properties, the metals sometimes form undesirable shapes during the deformation process and can wear out the tools used. To ensure manufacturing quality control, inspection of the tools before and after, as well as the parts formed, is important during "no fault forward" operations.

Deviations from the desired geometry of a panel can be caused by tool wear / ingress or the metal distorting incorrectly due to raw material variation.


Some of the surface defects could include wrinkles, elevations / bulges, depressions / dents or folds.

The LMI G2 Sensors can be used on critical parts of the tool (or panel) to check whether it is profile is within tolerance or needs replacing.

While the LMI G3 Snapshot Sensor can be used to check areas of the panel for surface variations.

As with the surface defects, material variation and tool wear can be the cause of defects in the overall form of the panel (deviating from the desired geometry). Some of these defects can include out-of tolerance dimensions on apertures / holes / overall form or cracks / splits in the panel.

Once it has been formed, the panel can be presented to a Teledyne Dalsa GEVA system connected to multiple cameras that can inspect multiple specific regions of the part all at once.



As the number of intricacies increase in a car's design, the fit and alignment of its body panels during assembly operations becomes more important, as the slightest deviations are very noticeable. This isn't just for it's aesthetics, mis-alignments can adversely affect the handling of the car when aerodynamics come into play at higher speeds. That is why it's crucial it is all manufactured and assembled in-line with the original design. This becomes even more important when the panels are potentially sourced from different manufacturers in various locations.

The LMI G2 series - 3D Smart Sensor can provide a shape of the fit between two adjacent panels and accurately measure the Gap & Flush between them. The sensors are factory pre-calibrated and self contained within a IP67-rated housing, ready for factory environments.


There are numerous ways in which the paint finish on automotive panels can be inspected. Whether it's projecting patterns / light onto the surface to detect fine texture variations such as orange peel or looking bigger defects like colour mismatches or scratches, we have worked with numerous companies to help develop solutions that can detect a wide variety of paint defects.

Get in touch with one of our specialists if you'd like to discuss potential defects that you'd like to detect using machine vision systems.

Automotive Solutions

Find out how machine vision can and has helped to improve automation and the efficiency of production processes in the Automotive industries over the years.