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3D surface inspection system for cylinder heads

Chromasens has introduced a 3D inspection system expressly designed for detecting imperfections on the surface of metal cylinder heads requiring large field of views. Leveraging the Chromasens 3DPIXA wave dual 30µm stereo line scan camera, the Chromasens Corona II LED illuminator with controller, and the Chromasens 3D Application Programming Interface (CS-3D-API), the all-in-one, turnkey imaging system achieves 100% inline inspection at frequencies up to 30 kHz at full resolution.

Automotive performance can be compromised due to defects on a cylinder head's surface such as burrs, scratches, cavities, or unevenness. Detecting surface deviations is challenging for standard 2D machine vision systems because irregular surfaces tend to scatter light in all directions or be adversely affected by variations in ambient lighting and workpiece orientation. High-intensity lighting is an essential component to overcome this problem, yet this can add to integration costs and slow down production. Of course, being limited to only two dimensions, less advanced systems will also not capture complex geometries and height variations on the surface that do not match the manufacturer's tight tolerances.

The Chromasens 3D system is a faster, more reliable way to inspect cylinder heads and other part surfaces inline. Every part coming down a high-speed line can be imaged and inspected to ensure 100% quality control, including larger parts requiring fields of view (FOV) up to 450mm (17.8 inches) in width. Images are captured simultaneously in both 2D and 3D by the 3DPIXA wave dual camera at a GPU accelerated speed of 552mm (21.7 inches) per second. Combining 2D color images with 3D data results in more complete verification of inspection results. Resolution up to 30µm is possible in 2D using the 3DPIXA wave dual camera, with object dependent height resolution up to 5.87µm.

To overcome lighting challenges, the system employs the Chromasens Corona II LED illuminator. Its patented reflector technology delivers 1,200,000 Lux in the recommended tube light design which is the brightest such lighting on the market. Diffused tube lighting is highly effective at lighting specular, curved surfaces common with parts in the automotive industry. Advanced thermal management ensures stable performance and longer term value. Depending on the customer's inspection requirements, the Corona II can be ordered with either a tube light or a tube light/dark field combination.

Imaging software is essential to quality inspection. Easy to configure, with support of common image processing libraries, Chromasens CS-3D-API streamlines configuration and deployment. The API supports image processing libraries from Eyevision (EVT), HALCON (MVTec), MIL (Matrox), LabVIEW (National Instruments), and Coake (SAC). It's user-friendly interface allows in-house technicians to learn the software in minutes.

To meet customer needs, Chromasens offers a similar system that uses the 3DPIXA pro dual 10µm camera with a FOV of 150mm and maximum speed of 184mm per second.


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