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Inline and Immediate Detection of Defective Stamped Parts

The order has been processed, the last box filled. But a quick glance reveals that all parts have a scratch on important functional surfaces – a rule-out criterion for the customer. So there is no choice but to start production all over again, dispose of the scrap and make up for the lost time if possible. If the defect is first noticed by the customer, the costs for the complaint are even added.

“Many press operators know and fear situations like this,” knows Christoph Pölzl from Product Management for Digital Solutions at Schuler. “But checking every part on the outfeed conveyor by hand is often simply unrealistic.” Schuler has now developed a new camera-based system called “Visual Quality Inspection” (or VQI for short) that automatically detects bad parts. “This can correct errors in production immediately, avoid hours of delays, and improve the relationship with customers in the long run.”

VQI can be configured with just a few mouse clicks: “The template is a flawless good part that the operator marks on the computer,” explains Lukas Hagestedt, development engineer for AI systems at Schuler. “The time required for this is a few minutes, and no special prior knowledge is necessary.” On this basis, VQI compares all other components and immediately identifies even the slightest deviations.

“Visual Quality Inspection” is already being used successfully by a customer in the automotive supply industry. The technology is based on the die monitoring system “Visual Die Protection” (VDP), which Schuler introduced in 2019. With VQI, however, the camera is not directed into the press, but from above onto the outfeed conveyor.

Other solutions on the market require method expertise from the operator as well as a high level of effort for setup. And even then, false alarms can often occur during operation, costing rather than saving time. With Schuler’s control system, the risk is low because VQI retrains itself independently, thus further sharpening its eye for the good part.

Schuler will be presenting its “Visual Quality Inspection” at the EuroBLECH trade fair in Hanover, Germany, from October 25 to 28.

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