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Digital Twins and Terahertz Waves Ensure Quality

The Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics ITWM will again be present at CONTROL. The researchers will show their testing systems for assuring product quality in industrial environments. Two of the exhibits are dedicated to the material characterization of test materials, a third to the virtual development of inspection systems.

Virtual Inspection Planning for Adaptive Surfaces

Visual inspection systems are a key element of quality inspection in the manufacturing industry: 100 percent inspection of components is usually essential, as products with surface defects are not allowed to leave the factory. However, the development of visual inspection systems requires a lot of practical experience and is often time-consuming and expensive.

With V-POI (Virtual Inspection Planning for Adaptive Surfaces), the Image Processing department of Fraunhofer ITWM offers a web-based solution: With the help of a digital twin, the visual inspection system is developed virtually and takes surface and physical parameters into account. V-POI provides users with an inspection plan that includes camera and illumination positions as well as information about the coverage of different camera positions. Photorealistic product simulation and a defect simulation are also part of the system. The image set is then used for machine learning training.
The inspection system can therefore be fully planned even before the actual – usually highly adaptive – process begins in the image processing lab.

Short-Pulse Terahertz System for Layer Thickness Measurement

When measuring layer thickness in industrial environments, there are often sources of interference that cause vibrations and oscillations and thus falsify the measurement results. These interference signals are generated in the production environment, for example, by presses, punches, moving forklifts and trucks. In addition, during time-of-flight measurements, the robot arm vibrates slightly when it stops, which is also problematic. The Fraunhofer ITWM has developed a solution which, despite these sources of interference, enables non-contact and non-destructive reliable measurements: the short-pulse terahertz system.

In analogy to ultrasonic measurements, short terahertz light pulses are sent to the sample, with the difference that no coupling medium such as gel or water is required for terahertz measurements. Light pulses are reflected at each interface – the transitions between different layers such as paint and metal. These echo signals, arriving one after the other, provide information about the sequence and spacing of the layers. The measurements are then evaluated by comparison with a simulated measurement signal. The system has proven its worth in the final inspection of car coatings.

Booth 6301 Hall 6

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