Researchers have engineered a high-precision modular inspection system that can be adapted on a customer-specific basis and integrated into the production process. Before a workpiece leaves the production plant, it is subjected to rigorous inspection. For safety-critical applications such as in the automotive or aerospace industries, manufacturers can only use the most impeccable parts.

Prototypical inspection of the surface of a bladed integrated disk with two cameras and a light source. (© Fraunhofer ITWM)

The MASC (Modular Algorithms for Surface InspeCtion) system consists of multiple cameras and algorithms, and can be modified to customer-defined specifications. It is suited for diverse materials like metals, leather, textiles, or paper, and covers a size range from tiny components for medical technology through to entire sheets of ceiling panels.

Once all testing parameters are set, the procedure is integrated into the production process with the customer. The cameras are either installed directly on the assembly line for this purpose, or applied using robots. When a defect is found, the production process automatically stops; at the same time, the machine operator is notified. The detected defects are classified and the test object is divided into quality classes.