Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Intelligent system for the detection of cracks in links on assembly lines

12.05.2004


A group of researchers at the Public University of Navarre, together with Volkswagen Navarra, have designed an individual system for the intelligent detection of cracks in links in production assembly lines to which a detector of wear and tear in bolts has been incorporated.



The project is part of the joint working agreement that Volkswagen Navarra have had with the Public University of Navarre since 1997 and which has produced a number of results in the field of applied R+D. In this case in concrete, the research arose from the need to find a technological solution to one of the most common problems occurring in mass production assembly lines.

Inspection of links


These assembly lines are made up of chains of metal links to which the various devices or components forming part of the production process are fitted, the finished product being the article manufactured by the company in question. Given that the line moves at a more or less constant speed, the links are subject to stresses that are greater at some points than at others. This excess stress produces cracks and, in extreme cases, the link itself breaks up.

Until now the inspection of the line in order to detect cracks has been purely visual. However, this system is inefficient as the inspection is carried out while the line is in operation, the links moving at a speed that makes it difficult to identify a fine crack. On the other hand, if the ocular inspection is carried out when the production line is stopped, a proper inspection can take a considerable time.

Optoelectronic system

To solve this problem, researchers at the Public University of Navarre and Volkswagen Navarra worked on several hypotheses for detection systems of cracks in the links and finally opted for an optoelectronic system, one whereby a laser diode is located at an oblique angle to the link. The beam from this reflected from the link surface is received by a photodetector which converts this optical power into an electrical signal.

The basis for the detection is quite simple. The part (the link) moves horizontally at a more or less constant speed. When the part passes the optoelectronic system, there is a rise in the reflected light energy. But, if a crack exists, the reflection is irregular and there is a fall in this optical power, and this is registered by the detection system, thus indicating the presence of a crack.

The power values registered by the optical detector are transferred to a data acquisition card which digitalises and processes the information using a software programme.

The system has the great advantage that it avoids physical contact with the part under inspection. The only requirement is the correct design of the electronic device.
Although the system that is being presented today is a reality, the researchers at the Public University of Navarre and Volkswagen Navarra intend to continue theri joint R+D work with another project: instead of an individual system for each link the detection of cracks and of wear and tear in the bolts, a single system can be installed for each of the 12 production assembly lines that the Volkswagen plant has in Landaben (Pamplona). These would be interconnected by means of a wireless net and centralised at a PC with software for monitoring the state of each and every one of the links and bolts on the factory lines. The aim is that, when an event is detected (a broken link, a worn bolt, etc.) on any of the assembly lines, a brief message indicating the problem is sent to the mobile phone of the maintenance charge-hand.

The possibility of patenting the system is also being studied for its possible use in the rest of the Volkswagen group’s factories, in other vehicle companies as well as in all kinds of factories that have a similar problem.

Contact :
Iñaki Casado Redin
Nafarroako Unibertsitate Publikoa
inaki.casado@unavarra.es
(+34) 948 16 97 82

Iñaki Casado Redin | Basque research
Further information:
http://www.basqueresearch.com/berria_irakurri.asp?Gelaxka=1_1&Berri_Kod=471&hizk=I
http://www.unavarra.es

More articles from Process Engineering:

nachricht Etching Microstructures with Lasers
25.10.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT

nachricht Applying electron beams to 3-D objects
23.09.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Organische Elektronik, Elektronenstrahl- und Plasmatechnik FEP

All articles from Process Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>