For products made using continuous processes such as wires, cables, and tapes or even tubes, rods, and profiles, problems with the quality are not uncommon. The continuously high stresses degrade the forming tools. When cold forming wires, for example, the drawing dies wear down over time. In addition, local defects can arise on the surface due to defects in the raw material, for example. For these reasons, inspection systems for monitoring quality should monitor the surface of the continuous material continuously, completely, and fully automatically.
The inline inspection systems developed by Fraunhofer IPM detect surface defects during production: They inspect surfaces for microdefects – completely and in real-time. The systems use the latest industrial camera technology in connection with embedded image processing. The sensor heads are designed to bear up against the harsh production conditions.
The »WIRE-HR« inspection system fully examines the wire surface at feeding rates of up to 30 m per second, thus reliably detecting and classifying even point defects with a size of 50 μm in real-time. Measurement data generated during this process amounts to approx. 6 GBit/s, making it virtually impossible for the user to manually assess the data. In an automated process, »WIRE-HR« classifies the defects and transmits them to a data base together with information on the wire position measured by an encoder, thus enabling fully automated system and quality control.