The adoption of CMMs is expected to grow in the foreseeable future with quality, accuracy and precision to be the topmost requirements for its end users. Inspection is crucial to certify the quality of parts and products, and also to guarantee a manufacturer’s compliance with industry standards. However, today’s inspection method that relies on CMM only measures limited samples of part’s geometry, and sampling is no longer sufficient to prevent downstream defects. Therefore, to achieve zero defect manufacturing, measurement and quality assurance must move away from the traditional measurement room, and to the production areas in order to achieve 100% inline inspection – where manufacturing conditions are continuously changing and hidden process errors could occur.
End users from various industry backgrounds consume our data differently to achieve their objectives. To illustrate the wide-ranging applicability of the automated 3D machine vision inspection and predictive defect prevention solutions, here are some examples of how the solution might be of assistance to different use cases. A plant manager might need plant-level reporting on downtime and total number of rejects. On the other hand, a line supervisor might want to look for model level rejects for line stoppage and overall model quality numbers. From the perspective of an operator, equipped with the knowledge observed from the automated inspection station could help assist them to make a quick decision on a rejected part – whether to contain and route to repair or continue build. Lastly, a QA/QC might utilize the data of the overall metrics on build quality, and proactively improve the process through the use of root cause analysis tools for continuous improvements.
Quality assurance weld inspectors use different methods for inspecting the weld, including visually inspecting the weld, and a variety of tools, including magnifying glasses, flashlights, handheld gauges, tape measures, and calipers. The tools to be used by the weld inspector depends on the weld in question and the type of defect. These tests are only as reliable as the workers performing them. If the worker fails to complete a test or completed a test improperly, the reliability of the weld can be called into question, causing a big headache for the company. Weld inspection is often a tedious process that calls for a keen eye for detail and patience; inspectors can be responsible for inspecting hundreds to thousands of welds per shift.
Individual inspection is subjective to each inspector, making it very hard for manufacturers to ensure that each defect is caught. With an automated inspection solution, defect detection is based on measurements and mathematical formulas, ensuring that all defects that fit a certain set of criteria are caught before they can be passed downstream in the production line.
New methods have been developed that make weld inspection much easier for manufacturers who produce large numbers of products. Bluewrist Inc. offers a 100% in-line weld inspection solution. This solution uses a 3D profiler or 3D snapshot sensor to capture detailed surface characteristics of the weld. The weld can be inspected fully or broken down into individual sections for analysis and comparison against fabrication blueprints to guarantee the weld conforms to the specifications.