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The benefits of automatic inspection extend well beyond the technology’s lights-out speed and greater accuracy compared to manual inspection. This is because of one obvious difference between the two: automatic inspection technologies like LASERVISION produce data, and lots of it. Manufacturers of large, complex components and subassemblies are quickly leveraging this “big data” to boost their product quality and production rate, lower the costs of rework and scrap, and launch new process improvement initiatives using manufacturing insights gained from data analytics.
Key to these advantages is employing an automatic inspection technology that generates superior image quality, which is directly related to quantity and quality of data captured. An image conveys raw data in the form of pixels. We all know what it means for an image to become “pixelated” as it is enlarged. The higher the pixel density (eg., pixels per square inch), the more an image can be enlarged before it pixelates. Superior image quality in automatic inspection means that images have captured greater pixel density relative to the dimensions of the region captured on the work-in-progress (WIP). Greater pixel density means more data to work with. As one industry expert put it, “If you don’t have enough pixels, AI can’t learn.”
Feeding LASERVISION’s as-built data to AI systems is one of the three ways that LASERVISION’s superior image quality – and bigger, better as-built data – benefits manufacturers beyond the inspection itself:
- Real-time corrective action – When an anomaly or nonconformance is detected by LASERVISION automatic inspection, the system is programmed to halt certain production activities, alert technicians, and project a laser pattern like an automated version of a presenter’s laser pointer, highlighting the suspect area to quickly guide the technicians to the point of interest. With the well-constructed data infrastructure that LASERVISION provides, information flows from the physical realm – the anomaly on the actual WIP – to the virtual realm – the digital image and analytical data – and back to the physical realm in the form of a laser projection. Since some production systems may need to pause while the operator is in the work cell, pinpointing saves cycle time by swiftly guiding the operator.
- Documentation – LASERVISION automatic inspection provides a complete digital record of each finished component. Referred to as the “as-built digital twin,” this rich set of information gives the manufacturer, customer and end user details of the fabrication process that may serve multiple functions during the product’s full lifecycle.
- Deep learning – A form of artificial intelligence (AI), deep learning generates manufacturing insights that may be used in a continuous process improvement effort or closed-loop manufacturing (CLM). Production data is fed downstream to a manufacturing intelligence system, and manufacturing insights are sent upstream to the product design and process engineering departments.
If you’re attending CAMX 2022, we invite you to learn more about these benefits of LASERVISION automatic inspection. Please come by our Booth #F12 on the exhibit floor and also plan to attend Aligned Vision President Scott Blake’s presentation, Quality Monitoring of Composites Fabrication in an Industry 4.0 Ecosystem, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 1 PM, Room 208 AB.