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100 % Inspections of Soldered Seams

Color enhancement helps endoscopic inspections of fuel rails 

High quality standards in the automotive industry

Fuel distribution systems have the task of supplying the engine of a car with sufficient fuel. The fuel rail forces fuel into the injection nozzles under high pressure. During production of the 300 mm long stainless steel tubular fuel rail, two end sections are attached by a special soldering process. To guarantee the fuel rail withstands the high pressure while the engine is running, a perfect dispersion of the soldering material must be assured. The soldered seams on the inside of the tubes are inspected with an endoscope. To ensure quality, a 100% check is carried out.

Soldered seam difficult to recognize for the quality inspector

With a 100% endoscopic inspection, the manufacturer wants to monitor and stabilize the soldering process and assure the quality and durability of the component. In the soldering process, a continuous seam and thus an inseparable connection between the tube and the end piece must be created. Conventional endoscope cameras can offer only insufficient image results for the visual inspection of soldered seams, because the color difference between the seam and the steel tube is so minimal that it is difficult for the inspector to recognize. With conventional endoscope cameras, long-run inspections can become very tiring for the operator.

The video algorithm “Selective Color Enhancement” delivers the information

The FlexiVision 100 inspection system of the SCHÖLLY FIBEROPTIC GMBH, available since April, has, in addition to its Full HD image quality, special video algorithms. These are software functions that allow the user to optically alter the inspection image. In order to visually check the soldered seams in the fuel distributor, the “Selective Color Enhancement” video algorithm is used during the endoscopic inspection. With this aid, the slight color difference between soldering material and stainless steel is increased and the soldering seams appear more clearly. So an unambiguous evaluation of the quality of the seam is made possible. At the touch of a button, manufacturers can store important images of the inspection onto a USB stick. For comprehensive image and video recordings and their archiving, they use documentation software on an attached PC or laptop.

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Picture on the left shows the soldered part to be inspected without color enhancement, on the right with color enhancement

Mechanical fixture for optimal test procedures

For a smooth procedure the FlexiVision 100 system with the FlexiScope 3 camera handpiece has been integrated into an inspection station. A mechanical fixture guides the component to the fixed FlexiScope 3 camera handpiece, on which a probe is attached. A mechanism makes sure that the component is appropriately positioned, so that both soldered seams can be inspected one after the other. The probe was custom-made for the customer. It is a FlexiScope probe in a special length. With the 65° viewing direction, both soldered seams of the end piece can be reached perfectly and displayed on a monitor.

FlexiVision 100 supports efficient defect analyses and increased process assurance

With an optimal check of the critical points in the fuel distributor, manufacturers further safeguard themselves. On the one hand, they monitor the soldering process and are able to stabilize the process or even improve it further. On the other hand, they assure the quality and thus the durability of the fuel distributor. The FlexiVision 100 supports manufacturers in carrying out 100% checks accurately and with the lowest expenditure of time as possible. By means of the video algorithms, the inspection point becomes immediately visible. With the image recording function of the FlexiVision 100 inspection system, the manufacturer can document the inspection and in the case of a customer complaint, refer to the documentation.

FlexiVision 100 Kamera FSC3 HandgriffThe FlexiVision 100 inspection system supports efficient 100% inspections, for example in the automotive industry

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