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FlexiScope 2 in use

Cutting off ball pen tips – that’s history

“We develop long-life products that combine sustainability and quality.”

To follow this principle, Schneider Schreibgeräte GmbH aligns its processes continuously. For example, in the production of ball pen tips, the machining process causes metal particles which could remain in the fine ink channel system of the pen and potentially impact its writing quality.

Until now, Schneider Schreibgeräte cut off ball pen tips and inspected them on a random basis. But this procedure couldn’t determine the source of metal particles. Either they were caused by the manufacturing process or by subsequent mechanical intervention.

Detection of hidden parts

Flexiscope 2 visuelle Inspektion detail

So, how do you inspect the inside of a small, 2 mm wide tapered tube, where the hidden part is on the tip, without destructing the component? The solution is FlexiScope 2, an industrial borescope system made by SCHÖLLY, which can be adapted to different applications. It consists of a stationary controller unit with camera head, probes and a video monitor.

Powerful LED technology provides optimized illumination. The camera, integrated in the inspection system, generates high resolution pictures of the ball pen tips’ filigree structures.

“When you suddenly see your small ball pen tips enlarged on a 17” screen and the fine structures appear in these dimensions, it is very impressive and enlightening,” explains CEO Christian Schneider.

A connection to a video monitor allows a team to discuss and evaluate the results at the same time.

What were the main criteria to decide for a SCHÖLLY inspection system?

Flexiscope 2 visuelle InspektionDue to the light weight design of the camera head, the attached probes can be steered accurately and sensitively in the tiny cavities. Small probes, starting from diameter 0.7 mm, make the system perfect for the inspection tasks of Schneider.

The company, located in Germany, offers several products that require different kinds of ball pen tips. By using the quick-lock coupling at the camera head, the system can be equipped with numerous probe sizes and can be adapted to changing requirements within seconds. Thanks to its compact design, the inspection system can easily be integrated into the production process.

How could the process be optimized?

“For us, the FlexiScope 2 is an early warning system,” Schneider explains. Metal particles can now be identified under real conditions by non-destructive testing. A mechanical intervention, which means cutting off the pen tips, risked distorting the inspection result. For Schneider, the endoscopic inspection with FlexiScope 2 of SCHÖLLY is an additional measure for quality control and assurance. It also reduces inspection time, leading to a smooth production process.

The endoscopic inspection allows possible rejections to be identified and sorted out in an early stage, reducing the total rejections at the end of the production chain. It also supports Schneider’s mission to market sustainable and long-life products.

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