Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Fraunhofer researchers develop measuring system for ZF factory in Saarbrücken

21.11.2017

Modern and forward-looking manufacturing processes are essential building blocks for a company's economic success and efficiency. Production processes must be optimized continuously and intelligently under the aspects of resource savings, quality, and cost. A new measuring system developed by experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP is expected to increase productivity, significantly reduce material and test scrap, as well as provide support for optimizing production processes in transmission production at ZF Friedrichshafen AG's factory in Saarbrücken / Saarland.

ZF Friedrichshafen AG is a globally leading technology group specializing in drivetrain, chassis as well as active and passive safety technology. In order to remain successful with innovative products in the future, ZF annually spends about six percent of sales for research and development. With its 8,000 employees, the Saarbrücken factory produces automatic passenger car transmissions for the international automobile industry.


Partially automated system for measuring the weld seam geometry of output shafts for the automatic 8-speed passenger car transmission from ZF Friedrichshafen AG, Saarbrücken factory

Fraunhofer IZFP / Uwe Bellhäuser

Ultrasonic weld seam measuring within a few minutes

Engineers and scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Nondestructive Testing IZFP in Saarbrücken have developed a measuring system for ultrasonic testing of weld seams on output shafts for supporting and optimizing the production processes. Output shafts are highly complex components integrated in functions; due to the client interface at the transmission output, they are highly variable, which results in significant test and approval efforts.

Output shafts are manufactured by welding together different components. For different components, production lines have to be retooled. So far, the first two components had to be scrapped in product change-overs because they had to be prepared metallographically for the purpose of microscopic examination and for assessing weld seam quality.

Another metallographic microsection grinding process was necessary for interim inspection. These processes required a significant amount of time and resulted in finished output shafts partially becoming test scrap.

The WeldInspector system developed by the Fraunhofer IZFP measures 100 percent of the entire weld seam geometry of ZF's output shafts within a few minutes by means of high-frequency ultrasound. Ultrasonic testing is a nondestructive test procedure that is used to test components made of sound-conducting materials for internal faults without damaging the material itself or changing its surface.

Quality assurance due to automated test process

Stefan Caspary, the engineer responsible for the project at the Fraunhofer IZFP, explains the process as follows, "First, the component is scanned using a QR code scanner so that the appropriate test program can be selected automatically based on the QR code. Then the tester places the component in the test basin, which is filled with water. Finally, within a very short period of time, the output shaft weld seams are measured in a user-controlled ultrasonic immersion process without requiring any further setup time."

Upon completion of the measuring process, the resulting image is displayed for the tester, and a detailed analysis using software developed by the Fraunhofer IZFP immediately follows the test. In addition, the partially automated system is capable of measuring 40 different types of waves. After validation of the system has been completed, it is scheduled to be used also for other components at the Saarbrücken site, as well as at global sites of the Business Unit Powertrain Transmissions.

For ZF Friedrichshafen AG, this newly developed system is of high significance – the system achieves a clearly higher degree of productivity and quality, while providing cost savings at the same time. The system was successfully commissioned at the ZF factory in Saarbrücken in September of 2017.

Application-oriented and industry-capable development projects
Caspary concluded, "The development and implementation of WeldInspector illustrates the core competencies and strengths of our institute – in particular, in the areas of nondestructive electronics and software development. RK Schmidt Systemtechnik, a company based in St. Wendel with many years of expertise in automation and systems technology, was tasked with the fabrication of the partially automated measuring system.

The application-oriented, industry-capable new and further developments of the Fraunhofer IZFP focus on improving its clients' product quality – in particular, from the point of view of increased safety, availability, and economy. Thus, the research institute addresses tasks of long-term, national and international significance from all industry-relevant areas.

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.izfp.fraunhofer.de/en.html

Sabine Poitevin-Burbes | Fraunhofer-Institut für Zerstörungsfreie Prüfverfahren IZFP

More articles from Process Engineering:

nachricht New manufacturing process for SiC power devices opens market to more competition
14.09.2017 | North Carolina State University

nachricht Quick, Precise, but not Cold
17.05.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT

All articles from Process Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Fraunhofer researchers develop measuring system for ZF factory in Saarbrücken

21.11.2017 | Process Engineering

The main switch

21.11.2017 | Life Sciences

From Hannover around the world and to the Mars: LZH delivers laser for ExoMars 2020

21.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>