Almost all products manufactured in large quantities begin life as semi-finished products (e.g. forged parts, rods, tubes, punched, bent and deep-drawn parts). In production technology, semi-finished products are the most widely delivered type of metal materials and therefore play a key role in almost all sectors (particularly the automotive industry). Most manufacturing of semi-finished products is fully automated, and takes place at extremely high speeds. At the same time, high standards of dimensional accuracy, surface finish, purity, etc are often required, since many of these semi-finished products will later perform safety-related tasks, e.g. in car chassis, in brakes or in medical devices.
Fraunhofer IPM develops special, customer-specific systems, some of which have made it possible to measure the 3D geometry of every component’s entire surface at the normal rate of production for the first time, and to analyze their properties. One hundred percent of parts can thus be inspected in a fully automated and reproducible way, allowing production to be improved efficiently by feeding back quality parameters into the processes. As a result, quality increases and reject numbers fall.