The requirements for quality control, even for complex components, increase up to a 100% quality inspection. The inspection of parts of complex shape requires robotic solutions to move a sensor system in such a way that the whole surface of the part is covered.
SPIRIT aims at the development of a software framework for inspection robots that can deal with a wide range of inspection technologies without the need to re-program the robot. Sensor technologies include surface inspection by machine vision, thermography for crack detection, X-ray inspection or 3D sensors for assembly checks. Eitzinger: “We are developing a software framework that can automatically plan an inspection path for all these different inspection technologies”. The inspection robot will just need a CAD model of the workcell – to avoid collisions – and a model of the part to be inspected. Given this information it will take the selected inspection technology into account and automatically generate an inspection program for the particular task.
At Centro Ricerche Fiat e.g. the robot will be used to inspect a part on the conveyor while it is moving. In this case the presence and correct mounting of plugs, cables and hoses needs to be verified by the robot.
As an additional feature the robot will have the capability to optimize the inspection process in real-time while it is running. This is necessary in the case of e.g. unknown deformations that are not accurately represented in the CAD model, or in the case of X-Ray inspection the sensor needs to be adjusted to the orientation of the honeycomb core in a composite part.
Technology for SMEs
The end users in the project are large, well-known companies, but also small and medium size enterprises will benefit from the results, either by using the inspection robot for quality control of small lot sizes or – in the case of machine builders – by using the software framework for an easy deployment of the technology at end users.
“The goal of the project is to get rid of time-consuming and expensive programming tasks and instead to just configure the inspection process for the machine“, says Christian Eitzinger, head of the machine vision department at PROFACTOR.
SPIRIT – A software framework for the efficient setup of industrial inspection robots
01.01.2018 – 28.02.2021