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Optical inspection system for advanced fibre reinforced plastics

Vitronic : 19 April, 2015  (New Product)
At Hannover Messe 2015 Vitronic presented a new system for automated optical 2D/3D position detection and quality inspection for CFRP and GFRP cuts and components used in production processes. Examples of components from the automotive industry will be shown where the systems are already being successfully used.
Whilst ultra-lightweight fibre-reinforced composites are roughly as mechanically resilient as steel, they are still far more expensive. Quality inspection using machine vision solutions increases the speed of the manufacturing process. A higher processing speed and consistent automation engineering (including optical quality inspection) applied across the manufacturing process virtually compensates for the cost disadvantage of fiber composite materials.
Vitronic's sophisticated machine vision system automatically checks the correctness CFRP/GFRP of selected components, as well as their distances and positions. At the same time, the quality and geometry of the components are inspected prior to further processing. Inline inspection is designed for seamless integration into automated manufacturing processes. This ensures a smooth and efficient operational flow and, at the same time, allows automated quality inspection of the components.
“The precise and reliable quality inspection of CFRP/GFRP cuts and hardened components is the key factor for a continuous, automated process chain in large-scale industrial production. The seamless integration of the in-line inspection system accelerates the positioning and transport of correctly produced components. Through the use of optical inspection systems the proportion of good parts can be increased, even up to the point of zero-defect delivery," explains Markus Maurer, Head of Sales Industrial Automation Division at Vitronic.
Vitronic inspection systems cover CFRP/GFRP inspection across the whole production process from reels to the finished hardened component. The system recognises dimensions, angles, edges, contours, fibre orientation, web faults in parts as well as extraneous material (eg due to impurities). Following the impregnation and hardening processes, the quality of CFRP/GFRP components machined into frames, car body parts, profiles, mountings, and girders are inspected with the Vitronic system to check for correct dimensions, or for issues such as folds, fibre lint, holes, and depressions across wide surfaces and other typical production deficiencies. The contour inspection also detects possible fibre projections. Thus, even minor defects and structural variations from the norm are reliably detected.
The inspection system automatically documents the component quality. The stored images of each inspection process ensure seamless traceability for component quality in the production process. For the production of safety-critical components, it is particularly important that each component is reliable, fully tested and documented.
To facilitate easier integration and application of optical inspection systems, Vitronic offers consultancy and support, covering automated CFRP/GFRP inspection, production process requirements and production optimisation.
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