A brief journey into the realms of automated industrial quality assurance
The experts at Steinbeis Qualitätssicherung und Bildverarbeitung GmbH (SQB) believe in looking at things in detail … and looking again. The team in Ilmenau has developed a smart fault recognition system called Qualileo, which will be used in production facilities and manufacturing processes for automated industrial quality assurance purposes.
The tool has “quali” in its name because that’s what it’s all about. The Qualileo monitoring system memorizes sample materials and compares these to objects that require checking. It is capable of spotting deviations on an area measuring up to 500 x 500 square millimeters, marking defects on an image, making suggestions based on its examination, and placing faults into categories. This makes it possible to automate and document visual checks for quality management purposes. It also makes processes more reliable.
Big storage systems for lots of information
The storage system used by the monitoring system not only has to be big enough to cater for a large number of samples (digital twins) and produced parts (QA’ed parts), it also needs to cope with corresponding checklists and parameter settings. For example, it may have to deal with medium-sized production batches, or even small volumes down to batch sizes of one, possibly involving continuous changes in assortments.
The new technology allows the Steinbeis experts to meet a variety of requirements relating to management standards. These mainly relate to documentation and traceability, from DIN standard EN ISO 9001 to IATF 16949 automotive regulations and VDA 6.1, but also Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) in the pharmaceuticals industry, MPG medical regulations, and the DIN standard EN ISO 13485.
Efficient quality management
The experts at SQB believe that the Qualileo monitoring system makes a significant contribution to simplifying checking procedures and managing monitoring schedules. “Learning and storing samples and QA’ed parts will make our work more efficient because we will be able to check all parts in user-specified monitoring zones and the technology is extremely ease to operate,” explains Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Gerhard Linß, director at SQB. Aside from versatile monitoring functions, Qualileo offers a modern design, a high-definition live image and zoom function, and the facility to export QA results. “By using a smart fault-spotting system, we prevent flawed parts slipping through the net due to fatigue or subjective decisions. We also answer the need to achieve zero-error production and significantly cut monitoring and defect costs caused by faulty parts not being picked up,” adds Steffen Lübbecke, director at SQB.
Which features are important during visual checking?
- Surface defects (scratches, surface depressions, chipping, paint defects, blistering, streaks…)
- The incidence or absence of certain characteristics or material attributes
- Different colors
- Plug-pin connections, cable colors on connectors
- Missing/non-existent quality features
- Burrs on plastic and metal parts
- Deviations in macro-contours
- Circuit board assemblies
- Multiple objects in single images (counting)
- Completeness of packaging
- Quality of writing and letter recognition/print checking
- Data codes
- Color comparisons; measurement of color references
- Sink marks on plastic parts
- Welding lines on plastic parts
- Residual stress in components