Choosing a quality inspection system is not an easy task. From system accuracy to system flexibility, from inspection cycle time to feature count, and from initial investment required to overall return on investment and capabilities gained; decision makers need to evaluate cost-benefit of rather complex trade-offs before reaching a final decision. To help you with some of the questions you might have in mind about Mapvision Quality Gate, we have compiled a list of Q&As.
- How does Mapvision Quality Gate help me reduce quality associated costs?
Q1: Is Mapvision Quality Gate another optical inspection system?
No. Mapvision Quality Gate drastically differs from other optical solutions – in terms of both the way it operates and the capabilities it provides.
Let's elaborate. The other optical solutions, whether fixed or robot-based, conduct the inspection "on the part". Moreover, they require a particularly dedicated set of optical sensors for each feature to be inspected. As a result, such systems come with certain limitations in terms of 1) the number of features inspected at a time, 2) the inspection speed, and 3) breadth of analytics capabilities. To understand how Mapvision Quality Gate differs on those domains, we need to explore two key topics:
Firstly, Mapvision Quality Gate does not conduct the inspection "on the part". Instead, it conducts the inspections " on the images" it collects via its fixed, digital multi-camera system. Now, that is important to elaborate further since it equips the system with unique capabilities.
To begin with, it means that the inspections are conducted fully digitally and completely via software without involvement of any mechanical elements. One of the main advantages of this is, for example, quick deployment of ECRs in the measurement program. You can add new features to be inspected or modify the specifications for the existing program regime only with few changes through software. Another key advantage is in the accuracy domain. The fully-digital, software-driven inspections eliminate the effect of external and mechanical noise on the inspections – hence, increasing the overall system accuracy and precision.
Additionally, conducting the inspections "on the images" means that you do not need the parts to inspect them once you collect the images. This translates into capabilities such as advanced part traceability (i.e. creating a complete database of inspected parts for future analysis and part tracking) and retroactive analytics (i.e. conducting new inspections on the parts that have already left your premises); which in return enable you to eliminate, for example, manual sorting activities and batch recall campaigns.
Fixed, Digital Multi-Camera System
Secondly, how Mapvision Quality Gate "observes" the part and the features also differ drastically from other systems. As mentioned earlier, it is a fixed, digital multi-camera system where each camera sees the part from different angles. Think it like a large photo-booth for the part. In this setup, each feature is observed from different angles by several cameras that provide multiple triangulation as opposed to single triangulation that other visual systems rely on. This prevents false alarms. Similarly, each camera observes multiple features at a time, which means that there is practically no limit to the number of features we can inspect at once. Furthermore, it enables the system to significantly shorten the inspection cycle time (below 30 seconds on average) even if hundreds of features are being inspected. And last but not least, it provides robustness against camera failures. Even if a camera fails, the system still gathers sufficient data and continues to conduct the inspections without any decrease in accuracy.
Q2: What are the unique capabilities the system provides?
Mapvision Quality Gate offers three unique capabilities at its core:
100% x 100% in-line inspection
The main differentiating point for Mapvision Quality Gate is that the system can inspect hundreds of features in less than 30 seconds on average; whereas other systems need to severely trade off the number of features inspected to reduce the inspection cycle time. As such, Mapvision Quality Gate can inspect 100% of the features for the 100% of your production without compromising your production cycle time. That is why we call it 100% x 100% in-line inspection.
Real-time quality and process monitoring
Through 100% x 100% in-line inspection, the system enables you to monitor your output quality and process performance for each component and each production cell in real-time – delivering you a complete and granular understanding of how your manufacturing processes behave, identifying process variation and deviations before they turn into defects, and enabling you to take immediate corrective action.
Building a complete memory of your entire production
The system associates each part produced with its entire visual and dimensional inspection data for future reference. It creates a complete visual and quantitative memory of the production for advanced part tracking and retroactive analytics.
Based on these three core capabilities, the system provides extended solutions in improving manufacturing quality and process stability. You can in fact read more about unique system capabilities and benefits here.
Q3: What is the underlying technology for the system?
Mapvision Quality Gate utilizes machine vision, photogrammetry, and 3D CAD together. Machine vision enables recognizing the features on the collected images whereas photogrammetry provides the algorithms that conduct the measurements. 3D CAD provides the feedback to aid the inspection and is also used to create visual representations of manufacturing errors on part schematics.
Q4: How long is the inspection cycle and how many features can I inspect?
Our average inspection cycle is below 30 seconds. The cycle length depends on the complexity of the part. It can even go as low as to 2 seconds for low complexity situations. To give a real-world example for the number of features, the system inspects 560 measurement points within 45 seconds in a customer case. Theoretically, there is no upper limit as long as the features are not hidden (i.e. can be observed by a set of cameras).
Q5: What kind of features can I inspect with Mapvision Quality Gate?
Let's divide this question to two: 1) the features you can inspect and 2) the measurement you can conduct.
For the features:
- Holes & slots: Presence and 3D location (x, y, z, true position)
- Studs & bolts: Presence and 3D location (x, y, z, true position)
- Nuts: Presence and 3D location (x, y, z, true position)
- Surface points: Surface points and deviation to nominal in normal direction
- Edge profile: TRIM and HEM
- Child components: presence
- Planes, planarities, and flatness
- Angles: Angularities, angles between planes and straight lines, and projected angles
- Distances: Gaps, direct distances, projected distances
- GD&T characteristics: Location, form, profile
In addition to these, we handle each customer project case-by-case for your further needs and work together with you for additional feature types and measurement requirements. You can always contact us if you have any questions.
Q6: What kind of parts can I inspect with Mapvision Quality Gate?
Speaking for the automotive industry, you can inspect any component of body and chassis; including small parts such as trailing arms or anti-collision beams, medium assemblies such as subframes and seat frames, or large assemblies such as front floor or ladder frames. You can find a more comprehensive list here.
Q7: Can I inspect product variants?
Yes, absolutely! You can inspect product variants without any modifications. Since Mapvision Quality Gate is an image-based system driven by machine vision, the system can detect which variant is in the chamber and then choose the respective measurement program to execute the inspection.
Q8: How does Mapvision Quality Gate help me reduce quality associated costs?
We actually held a detailed webinar on this topic, which you can watch here. To name only few of the saving opportunities:
Eliminate manual sorting and batch recall campaigns
Mapvision Quality Gate enables you to pin-point the non-conforming parts automatically or remotely through its advanced part traceability capability. Furthermore, in cases where you need to run new measurements on the parts for sorting, it enables you to run new inspections on the parts that have already been delivered – without needing their physical presence at your premises. To learn more about advanced part traceability, you can watch this webinar.
Reduce internal PPMs and reworking time
Firstly, Mapvision Quality Gate helps you achieve process stability by providing you a deep understanding of your process behavior – hence, significantly reducing production of non-conforming parts. Secondly, the system helps you identify non-conforming parts that can easily be fixed through rework. Thirdly, it provides you granular and actionable visual and dimensional feedback on the required rework – reducing the time spent in guesswork during the rework process.
Reduce the cost of OEM complaints
Non-confirming parts lead to expensive warranty claims. However, many times these defects occur after the parts ave left your premises when the customer handles and stores them. Nevertheless, there is no way to prove the sources of these defects to handle such claims without capabilities such as 100% x 100% inspection, advanced part tracking, and retroactive analytics. Mapvision Quality Gate provides you concrete evidence of quality compliance – both visual and dimensional – to share with your customers in order to reject expensive warranty claims.