Quality control gets boost with Neuro Check

01 April 2007

An automotive part manufacturer has appointed NeuroCheck, sister company to Industrial Vision System, to design and install an automated inspection system.

A custom designed LED lighting array was used for finite surface inspection
A custom designed LED lighting array was used for finite surface inspection

This company was unable to utilise manual inspection of the small metallic automotive filter parts it was manufacturing and maintain high production speeds.

The NeuroCheck system utilises a 1024 x 768 pixel digital camera over a field of view of 4mm x 3mm square. A Rodenstock macro lens unit was also used in conjunction with a custom designed LED ring lighting unit. The control system was a NeuroCheck PowerBox unit with digital I/O communication to the PLC.

The LED lighting system comprised of two separate units used at set angles to give definition to the surface errors. Lights are turned on at the point of inspection only, thereby increasing the life expectancy of the units and enabling higher intensity and lower ambient light influence.

Evaluating the contrast, surface structure, axial lengths and formation of the debris and scratches found on the surface completes characterisation. A series of feature screening is completed to give a full analysis of the surface. “The surprising element in the set-up of the system,” said Industrial Vision System’s Earl Yardley, “was the large variation in surface contrast, with the background tone of the product ranging from 22 to 255 grey levels.” He added: “This was produced by tooling elements in the previous steps whilst manufacturing the product.”

The creation of a screening concept means inspection settings can be changed according to the background level of the product. The camera settings can be changed in real-time based on feedback from inspection criteria.

A ‘one-click’ documentation facility means the manufacturer can print out and log, in XML format, the complete inspection criteria.

Yardley concluded: “This application shows how important it is for information exchange and knowledge of customer products to produce complex machine vision solutions.

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