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Solution created by INEGI automates defect detection in automotive components

28 February 2020

The benefits of automating and digitizing industrial processes are increasingly evident for companies, and quality control processes are no exception. Recognizing this need, Zollern & Comandita Portugal challenged INEGI to optimize the inspection of turbine blades (used in car turbochargers) produced in this precision foundry.

The result is automatic visual inspection equipment that reliably, quickly and efficiently identifies defects, and promises to result in significant annual savings for the company. The solution was developed by INEGI in collaboration with Zollern & Comandita Portugal, and is already being used by the company.

Ricardo Cardoso, responsible for the project at INEGI, says that to respond to this challenge the team developed "an artificial vision system that identifies and analyzes irregularities, an automatic detection machine control system, and an interface for user interaction, in this case, the operator responsible for quality control”.

The objective is essentially to guarantee the reliability of the results. According to technicians from Zollern & Comandita Portugal, non-automatic methods, in addition to being time consuming, were imprecise and often resulted in incorrect rejections and consequent waste of resources.

Seeking to make the quality control process even more agile, INEGI’s team is now perfecting the solution and has started "to develop automatic feeding methods, that is, eliminating the need to have an operator dedicated to placing parts on machine”, says Ricardo Cardoso.

Bruno Alves, on behalf of Zollern & Comandita Portugal, points out that "all the development work carried out by INEGI now allows us to move on to a more automated solution that is not directly dependent on operators, which will allow for a potential gain of 30,000 euros annually".

The solution was developed under the MAGIC_4.0 project, a joint venture between Zollern & Comandita Portugal and INEGI. The project foresees, together with the development of a method of grain tuning by rotating electromagnetic currents, the creation and introduction of industry 4.0 technologies in the lost wax casting process. The project is co-financed under the Compete 2020 and Portugal 2020 programs, and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

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