Product or component quality testing

Nondestructive measurement and inspection systems, which are utilized for quality assurance and product control, are commonly used to analyze products or semifinished products in biological, medical and manufacturing engineering. They are also used in rail, automotive, aerospace and manufacturing applications, as well as for inspecting products in the agriculture, bioengineering, sporting goods and leisure industries.

To date, the complexity of some products has prevented manufacturers from being able to carry out adequate inspection measures. But with advances in sensor technology, microelectronics, automated data recording, rapid signal and image processing /reconstruction and the analysis of complex nondestructive inspection data (often multi-modal based on multiple sensors with different physical measurement principles), manufacturers can now describe these complex components, optimize the quality and improve the engineering reliability. The emergence of new material categories and combinations of materials that are physically difficult to inspect, with a view towards 3D free-form surfaces for instance, is leading to a higher degree of test complexity. 

Digitalization is providing new opportunities to automatically extract and classify the relevant characteristics from the measurement signals, then analyze and save the results as metadata and transmit it electronically.

Likewise, new algorithms for three-dimensional reconstruction and visualization, data analysis and signal compression of large data volumes have been developed by porting over methods used in the field of telecommunications. By relying on advanced pattern recognition and artificial intelligence methods, innovative approaches to three-dimensional data recording and data analysis can be developed (machine learning, cognitive machines).

Today's inspection systems are interactive machines that can be embedded into digital industrial environments (robotics, automation technology, data networks, cloud services). In the area of intelligent manual inspection methods, researchers have also developed initial prototypes that feature innovative assistance functions. In this case, the measurement technology is merged with "augmented reality" and "sensor tracking" tools through the use of human-machine interfaces. These new technology platforms developed and validated by Fraunhofer IZFP show the road toward the digital world of tomorrow and state-of-the-art industrial quality assurance.



Quality Assurance, 3D Data Recording, 3D Evaluation, Pattern Recognition, Artificial Intelligence, Human-Machine Assistance

3D SmartInspect: Intelligent Inspection Monitoring and Documentation by Optical Tracking System for Ultrasound and Eddy Current Inspection

3D SmartInspect – a Fraunhofer IZFP tool for the digital NDT world: Augmented Reality System as a support for the manual inspection of components or large surfaces
© Fraunhofer IZFP / Uwe Bellhäuser
3D SmartInspect – a Fraunhofer IZFP tool for the digital NDT world: Augmented Reality System as a support for the manual inspection of components or large surfaces

In the case of the widely used manual inspection, the quality of the inspection depends strongly on the personnel and the environmental conditions; this fact concerns the inspection of small com­ponents in production as well as the maintenance inspections of large industrial structures. The ­adequate interpretation of the measured values and the thorough coverage of the inspection area require a high degree of personal expertise. In addition, companies face considerable challenges with regard to documen­tation. Often, inspection reports are drawn up by hand and any peculiar observations are marked on the components themselves. A digital link between the specimen and the documentation is not established. If inspections take several hours or days, errors and incomplete documentation can occur, leading to negative consequences for subsequent processes.

To solve this topic, Fraunhofer IZFP has developed the optical tracking system “3D SmartInspect“, an assistance system for manual inspections based on cognitive signal evaluation.

To the press release

Hardware and Software Components of the Ultrasonic Inspection System RAWIS: Production-Integrated Inspection of Railroad Wheels

© Rosen Group
RAWIS Inspection System

High resolution at concurrently high inspection velocity by use of phased array technique and hardware-near data processing

Fully automated hundred percent inspection of wheel rim and wheel hub within a single turn of the wheel

Use of smart evaluation algorithms for automated assessment of the inspection results

Modular system design for use in maintenance inspections at low modification time and effort

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Acoustic Resonance Analysis: Hundred-Percent Quality Inspection of the Component’s Entire Volume in a Matter of Seconds

© Fraunhofer IZFP / Uwe Bellhäuser
Acoustic Resonance Analysis

Inspection of metallic or ceramic series parts that are produced in high quantities and at low cycle times

Very fast inspection

Inspection of the entire component (global inspection)

High automation capacity

Eco-friendly due to (complete) abolition of expendable materials

Surface Hardening Depth (SHD): Nondestructive Inspection of Inductively Hardened Parts and Components Using Ultrasonic Backscattering

© Fraunhofer IZFP
Crank shaft inspection using SHD sensor

Long-term experience with customized ultrasonic hardware and software

Fraunhofer IZFP designs and manufactures optimized ultrasonic electronics

Systems for automated and manual testing are available

No calibration of reference parts with defined hardness

Impartial, user-independent measurement technique

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3MA-Based Valve Spring Scanner: Nondestructive Evaluation of Hardness and Residual Stress Depth Profiles

© Fraunhofer IZFP / Uwe Bellhäuser
Valve Spring Scanner

Concurrent determination of various relevant quality characteristics of a material (e.g. hardness, residual stresses in different measuring depths)

No destruction of the specimen

Integration in fully automated testing systems

Calibration needed

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