INSPECT.assembly Automated Visual Inspection Station

Turnkey Solution for In-Line Inspection of Complex Electromechanical Assemblies

The INSPECT.assembly solution is a fully-integrated inspection station that utilizes a Radiant Vision Systems ProMetric® Imaging Photometer, bright field lighting, and programmable inspection software to detect subtle, low-contrast defects on complex assemblies. The system can be easily added to the production line to accommodate real-time inspection with greater accuracy and repeatability than human inspectors or traditional machine vision systems, while occupying the same footprint as an inspector on the line. The system can track inspected parts by serial number while recording defects, defect type, and defect trending data. The system performs a range of machine vision inspections, simultaneously or in sequence, employing the breadth of inspection tools packaged in Radiant’s new, configurable INSPECT Software.
 
The INSPECT.assembly solution can be employed in applications requiring inspection of highly-complex electromechanical assemblies for sub- and final assembly verification for detection of subtle flaws in high-value components.

Replicate Human Inspection and Judgment

In manufacturing environments where human inspectors are necessary for their superior perception of defects beyond the capabilities of traditional machine vision, but where automation is desired for its efficiency, the INSPECT.assembly system provides the ideal solution. Human perception enables subtle defect detection and judgment of acceptable tolerances for the type, total, or scope of defects. However, after hours inspecting complex parts and minute variations, human inspectors fatigue physically and mentally, causing the accuracy of their inspections to degrade. Using a second inspector in serial to perform repeat inspection is a potential, but costly, solution. This is compounded by the average two- to four-month turnover rate for human inspectors, resulting in significant time and cost to hire and train personnel to support inspection operations. Alternatively, the INSPECT.assembly automated visual inspection solution is able to provide absolute accuracy in a single inspection, with continuous and reliable performance. The INSPECT.assembly leverages high-dynamic-range, scientific-grade CCDs to replicate human visual sensitivity to contrast, enabling it to identify diverse and obscure features simultaneously, without repeat inspection. The system also features advanced logic to apply specific defect tolerances for pass/fail determinations, while offering superior objectivity and repeatability to human inspectors.

Unmatched Camera Resolution and Dynamic Range

The performance of a machine vision inspection system is dependent on the acquisition of high-quality images, enabling the system to “see” parts and defects in greater detail and apply meaningful evaluations to qualify these details. The resolution of a standard machine vision camera sensor will typically range from one to five megapixels. The INSPECT.assembly inspection system, however, leverages the superior resolution (up to 29MP) and dynamic range (up to 73.4 dB) of Radiant’s ProMetric Imaging Photometers for unmatched image clarity. The dynamic range of the ProMetric camera’s CCD sensor enables the system to detect hairline variations on part surfaces caused by reflections of light (like shadows that indicate a drill hole, or spectral reflections that indicate a metal component). This, coupled with the camera’s high resolution, enable the INSPECT.assembly to image and classify defects with extreme precision while maintaining image processing speed and low image noise (reduced by interline thermal cooling of the ProMetric CCDs). The INSPECT.assembly can even detect defects that may go unnoticed by human inspectors, including misaligned cables and connectors, gap variations of less than 1 mm between keys in a keyboard, or the presence or absence of tiny black screws from drill holes in a black component. With tolerances so precise, the INSPECT.assembly provides a production-level inspection solution with the objectivity, endurance, and repeatability of a machine vision system, while achieving visual inspection capability equal to and even surpassing human perception. This combination addresses manufacturing demands for both operational efficiency and absolute product quality in high-value and high-risk products.

Photometry-Based Image Analysis

Because the INSPECT.assembly system’s machine vision software is based on Radiant’s leading photometric software for light measurement, the system is able to inspect assemblies in intricate detail using the same techniques employed to evaluate properties of light. Software tools for detecting just-noticeable differences (JND) in visible light uniformity (in illuminated components) can be leveraged to detect anomalous contrast variations (on non-lit components). This capability allows the INSPECT.assembly system to identify unknown defects (unpredictable features and shapes) in unknown locations (unprogrammed points of interest), just like a human inspector. Unlike human inspectors, however, the INSPECT.assembly system can precisely detect and classify defects of specific types, assigning values to each defect and quantifying exact tolerances for acceptable severity, scope, or proliferation of the defect over the visible area. The INSPECT.assembly can operate independently, without the need for a human inspector, and can also be used to augment or perform verification of human inspections where humans are required.

Install Directly onto Production Lines

The INSPECT.assembly is designed for integration directly into the production line, with an adjustable frame to accommodate conveyer heights from 525 mm to 950 mm. The total operating footprint is within 1860 mm (H) x 800 mm (W) x 700 mm (D), occupying the same physical footprint as a human inspector on the line. The integrated ProMetric camera and machine vision lighting are housed within the INSPECT.assembly enclosure to prevent interference with other equipment and eliminate the effects of ambient light, allowing the INSPECT.assembly system to capture the most high-contrast images of parts for inspection. Parts on the line remain in motion, and an integrated sensor (or optional barcode reader) within the INSPECT.assembly system provides “part-in-place” triggering to prompt the camera and lighting to capture an image as a part enters the field of view. This method supports a line speed of 122 mm (0.4 feet) per second, with indexing time at a minimum of 7 seconds from part to part.

Designed to Meet Variable Inspection Requirements

All successful machine vision installations require a thorough understanding of the requirements for each inspection. Radiant’s application engineering teams work closely with our customers to determine their ideal INSPECT.assembly specifications and adjust the system to precisely meet defined parameters. Each INSPECT.assembly system is unique in terms of its components and design. System height, integrated lighting, lighting geometries, and cameras can be adjusted or replaced as needed to meet various system dimensions, part surfaces and shapes, and required imaging resolutions. Manufacturers can choose any ProMetric Y Imaging Photometer (in 2MP, 16MP, and 29MP resolutions) for imaging, matching, and verification. All cameras can be used with ProMetric or TrueTest software platforms, accessing Radiant’s complete image analysis and inspection tool library.

Complete Machine Vision Toolset in Field-Proven Test Sequencing Software

All products in Radiant's advanced vision inspection portfolio feature pre-configured INSPECT Software for production-level applications. This software features a comprehensive library of inspection tools to perform all basic machine vision functions for electromechanical assembly verification and gauging, and features test sequencing based on Radiant’s field-proven TrueTest™ Software. These tools ensure the manufacturing accuracy of a device and its components (including component location, presence/absence, shape, size, position, and more). INSPECT.assembly uses photometry-based evaluations of gradient and contrast to locate and identify irregularities in contrast across an image, detecting subtle defects that may go unnoticed by traditional machine vision systems, which may cause latent failures in assembled devices long after they leave the factory.

 

 
INSPECT Software performs multiple inspections in concert, detecting all assembly defects in a single image and measuring against defined tolerances for pass/fail analysis.

 
 
INSPECT.assembly detects subtle defects like this misrouted cable, which may lead to latent product failures if the cable is routinely pinched against the plastic guide during product use.
 

Key Features and Highlights:

  • Evaluate product quality with greater precision and consistency than multiple human inspectors performing repeat inspections
  • Track defect trends, categorizing defects by type, test, or location on the product to determine scope and severity
  • Equivalent to human perception for low-contrast defect and component differentiation
  • In-line inspection with equivalent physical footprint to a human inspector on the line
  • Operate 24/7 with high repeatability
  • Capture and measure large areas in a single image
  • Program software with sophisticated pass/fail criteria unique to each inspection application

Typical Applications

The INSPECT.assembly system combines unmatched, high-resolution imaging capability with the largest library of machine vision software tools available to inspect for defects commonly missed by traditional machine vision cameras. Implemented directly on the line, the INSPECT.assembly enables continuous production in applications including:
 
  • Sub-assembly verification: Presence, position, and routing of wires/cables, fasteners, connectors, screws, internal components
  • Final assembly verification: Gaps, steps, bonding, aperture alignment, label/logo quality and placement
  • Product tracking, reporting, and manufacturing history for process control

 

Related Links:

Video: INSPECT.assembly Automated Visual Inspection Station
On-Demand Webinar: Visual Surface Inspection with Imaging Photometers