The units can provide fully automated inspection in high-performance composites manufacturing.
The units can provide fully automated inspection in high-performance composites manufacturing.

Assembly Guidance Systems has shipped its first four Laservision units to automated fiber placement (AFP) manufacturer Electroimpact Inc both based in the USA.

The units can provide fully automated inspection in high-performance composites manufacturing.

‘We are fully integrating Laservision into our AFP machine cell so that our customers can ensure alignment, place courses, and inspect their work product all from a single operator interface,’ said Electroimpact engineer Todd Rudberg.

According to Rudberg, previous AFP systems would have to be stopped immediately when a course was flagged for inspection or correction, or the operator would have to manually identify the course after the ply was completed. An operator of the new integrated system, by contrast, can select the course to be inspected while standing at the system interface and launch the inspection sequence.

To perform the inspection task, Laservision automatically projects the centerline or boundary of the course to be inspected and then captures images with calibrated laser references. The machine vision component of Laservision aims a high-magnification camera system. The captured high-resolution images, which can detail even small complex regions, are enhanced before electronic delivery to automated image analysis algorithms. Then the images are automatically archived and combined with documentation associated with each individual part produced.

‘By having the laser system integrated, the locations of the AFP machine, mandrel, and laser system are all precisely known relative to a common coordinate system, which results in considerably reduced discrepancy in projections and actual ply boundaries,’ added Rudberg. The system creates a transform such that projection data matches the actual tool location, accounting for inconsistencies in mandrel loading, for tool rotation and deflection, and so on.

This story uses material from Assembly Guidance Systems with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.