Pixargus GmbH Automation by Vision

Pixargus: New module for optical inline inspection assures flocking quality

ProfilControl Surface systems inspect the surfaces of profiles made of plastics or rubber.

Surface inspection system specialized in typical flocking defects

“K 2013”, Pixargus will be presenting its new Flock Detection module, which inspects sealing profiles during the flocking process. The system ensures that, in the case of irregularities in the flocking, corrective action can be immediately taken. This guarantees that only prime material is shipped to the customers.

The new module belongs to the family of Pixargus ProfilControl Surface (PCS) systems, which inspect the surface condition of profiles in an inline process. It detects and classifies in real time typical flocking defects, such as missing or clumping flocking material, or longitudinal grooves. The PCS systems are typically installed at the end of the flocking line.

Pixargus developed the module for the optical inline inspection of door and window seals as used in the automotive industry. These sealing profiles have to comply with extremely exacting quality demands.

The flocking material must be applied highly uniformly in order for the profiles to reliably fulfill their sealing function. As in the vehicles the seals are partly visible, imperfect appearance of the surface may be reason for rejects.

The direct feedback of ProfilControl data into the process makes it possible to correct the flocking process without delay, ensuring that the poor flocking result does not continue along the profile.

As soon as a system detects a defect, it triggers a graphic display of the defect and a signal, which may be used to mark out-of-spec sections of the profiles or control automatic cutting or sorting equipment. Thus ProfilControl relieves the human inspector from the monotonous task of visual checks and painstaking sorting of the profiles into good or bad.

Within the measuring range, the profile surface is uniformly illuminated by an LED light ring and scanned by six high-resolution line-scan cameras arranged at angles of 60° around the profile. With these six line-scan cameras of more than 2,500 pixels each, the system detects surface defects down to 50 µm.

The Flock Detection module takes advantage of all features of the ProfilControl systems, including the Automatic Head Positioning (AHP) function. Whenever the product changes, the AHP system automatically readjusts the cameras into optimal positions for the new profile. This ensures that the system always captures the complete surface, even if the profile contours are complex.

By introducing AHP, Pixargus has made operation of the system even more user-friendly, while eliminating possible sources of error. The operator is relieved from his task of having to readjust the cameras whenever the profile shape changes. At the same time, AHP guarantees reproducibility of the system settings.