Clean and defect-free component and product surfaces are a quality criterion of many industrial products. In many industries, such as medical technology, the automotive or electronics industry, both particulate and filmic impurities are undesirable. They can severely disrupt partial steps in the manufacturing process and render the product unusable. This is because modern, highly efficient joining methods, such as laser welding, laser soldering or gluing sometimes react very sensitive to contamination such as residues of drawing or release agents. For this reason, flawless, residue-free surfaces in many cases decide the quality of modern products.

F-Camera – Detecting contaminations and defects in high resolution

Fraunhofer IPM's F-Camera measures contaminations and detects defects non-contact and imaging at production speed. Using UV light, the system excites undesirable organic substances to fluoresce, thus detecting residues down to a few milligrams per square meter. Additionally, bright field or dark field imaging, adapted to the measuring task, detects flaws such as scratches or pinhole defects with a resolution of around 20 µm. Combining the various methods allows inspection for defects and contamination in a single system. The F-Camera supplies both images and quantitative measurements of shape, position or quantity of contamination and defects. 

F-Camera mini – Inline inspection of surface cleanliness and coatings

The F-Camera mini enables very sensitive imaging inspection of entire component surfaces. The inspection system detects impurities or the quality of coatings within seconds with a resolution down to the micrometer range. The F-Camera mini is especially designed for the inspection of curved and complex surfaces and can handle both reflective and rough surfaces. It uses fluorescence measurement technology to detect organic substances on surfaces with high sensitivity. The F-Camera mini reliably identifies filmic contaminations down to a thickness in the 10 nm range. The F-Camera mini is characterized by its compact design, which allows integration of the measuring head into the production equipment. Thanks to very short exposure times of typically just a few milliseconds, it is also possible to inspect parts in motion or strip metal processing at speeds of up to 1 m/s.

System concept to match the task

Selecting the right technology is crucial to the reliability of the measurement system. The F-Camera allows high-resolution analysis of planar objects up to typically postcard size. Fraunhofer IPM also offers the F-Scanner for measurements on components with a size of several square meters or with a high area throughput. By using a fast laser scanner, the F-Scanner also allows inspection of components with complex geometries.