Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Digital Assembly Inspection: Automatic Quality Control Even for Small Quantities

08.05.2013
Like many industries, the aircraft industry manufactures its products in small quantities: Every airline desires its own interiors – production lines are therefore not geared toward mass production.

Manual assembly procedures are typical and assembly jobs change so steadily that automatic quality control has not been worthwhile. Novel software developed at the Fraunhofer IFF is an answer to this:


In model-based assembly inspection, software compares the digital target data of assembled components with the real outcome. Errors are detected immediately. (c) Fraunhofer IFF

Using cameras, it compares the particular CAD data of a product digitally with the finished assembled product and can incorporate modifications with a click of the mouse. Our researchers will be presenting this technology at the Control trade fair (hall 1, booth 1502) in Stuttgart on May 14 to 17.

One day is like the next on automotive assembly lines: Typically, around one thousand vehicles roll off a line every day and workers execute the same actions many times. The situation is entirely different in the aircraft industry: Although the birds of steel are alike on the outside, every airline desires a different interior.

Where are the seats located? What should the overhead compartments look like? Technicians usually leaf through the documents on specific components to see where and how they should be mounted. At what angle do they have to be attached where with what bolts? Once a worker is finished their assembly, she or he rechecks whether everything is in the right spot and confirms that it is. They can overlook errors, though. Humans do not have the same level of concentration every day and they tire toward the evening. Quality inspectors therefore examine individual products closely yet one more time but are not able to inspect every single bolt –100 percent inspection is impossible with manual methods.

Manufacturers therefore want automatic quality control, especially when components are relevant to safety. Approaches to large quantities like those in the automotive industry already exist, which use software to compare assembled components with photographs taken beforehand. This is hardly worthwhile for small production lines, however: All of the components must be assembled first of all and then photographed in order to have reference images for further assembly. If, for example, an airline ordered only four aircraft with the respective interiors, the assembly of only just three could be monitored.

Digital Comparison of Assembled Products with CAD Data

A new technology will now take even the production of such small quantities another step toward defect-free manufacturing and reliable detection of assembly errors. It was developed by researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Factory Operation and Automation IFF in Magdeburg. “Rather than using photos of a real assembled component as a reference, we use virtual images to reproduce the ideal state, instead,” says Dr. Dirk Berndt, manager of the Measurement and Testing Technology Business Unit at the Fraunhofer IFF. To do so, the researchers developed software that creates a “photo” – of a product that has not yet even been assembled – from the CAD data and the particular camera positions. The principle: Once a technician has finished assembling a component, a camera takes a picture of it – as during conventional automatic inspection. Rather than comparing this picture with one taken beforehand, the software computes a virtual photo based on the CAD data, which has exactly the same perspective as the picture really taken. All of this is done in seconds, i.e. in real time. The software compares this virtual picture with the picture taken of the real component.

Components No Longer Have to Be Aligned Precisely

This technology has a number of benefits: It can already be used during the assembly of the first product and is therefore worthwhile even for very small quantities. If the CAD data change, only a mouse-click is needed to load the current data into the system. Furthermore, the software allows for the position in which the inspected component is placed before the camera and computes the virtual image accordingly. Thus, the component must not be positioned exactly in the scanned field. Conventional automatic quality control systems require that components be guided under the camera precisely. A comparison is impossible if they are not.

“The technology in and of itself has been developed and is close to being fully perfected,” says Berndt. The researchers intend to be using it in two prototype applications by the end of this year. The researchers will be presenting their technology at the Control trade fair (hall 1, booth 1502) in Stuttgart on May 14 to 17.

René Maresch | Fraunhofer-Institut
Further information:
http://www.iff.fraunhofer.de/en/business-units/measurement-testing-technology/model-based-assembly-inspection.html
http://www.iff.fraunhofer.de/en/press/press-releases/2013/digital-assembly-inspection-automatic-quality-control-even-for-small-quantiti

More articles from Trade Fair News:

nachricht AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai
15.06.2018 | DECHEMA Gesellschaft für Chemische Technik und Biotechnologie e.V.

nachricht Insects supply chitin as a raw material for the textile industry
05.06.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Grenzflächen- und Bioverfahrenstechnik IGB

All articles from Trade Fair News >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

Im Focus: Photoexcited graphene puzzle solved

A boost for graphene-based light detectors

Light detection and control lies at the heart of many modern device applications, such as smartphone cameras. Using graphene as a light-sensitive material for...

Im Focus: Water is not the same as water

Water molecules exist in two different forms with almost identical physical properties. For the first time, researchers have succeeded in separating the two forms to show that they can exhibit different chemical reactivities. These results were reported by researchers from the University of Basel and their colleagues in Hamburg in the scientific journal Nature Communications.

From a chemical perspective, water is a molecule in which a single oxygen atom is linked to two hydrogen atoms. It is less well known that water exists in two...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A sprinkle of platinum nanoparticles onto graphene makes brain probes more sensitive

15.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

100 % Organic Farming in Bhutan – a Realistic Target?

15.06.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Perovskite-silicon solar cell research collaboration hits 25.2% efficiency

15.06.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>