Delphi Automotive Systems is a world leader in transportation and mobile electronics components and systems technology. Among their broad product portfolio is their range of sensors, actuators and modules designed to help optimize emission control, fuel economy, and drivability by enabling customers to measure and control key engine, transmission, and fuel parameters such as air/fuel ratios, evaporative emissions, and torque.
When Delphi (Singapore) wanted to set up a test and measurement station for their pressure sensor manufacturing line, they required a vision inspection system to check for the position and print quality of the glossy labels that were adhered to the pressure sensors. The first challenge of this vision inspection task was that the system had to be able to handle a variety of pressure sensors, each identified by different colored labels. The system was to verify that each sensor had the correct color label according to the batch run product type. Changes in color hue were also to be classified as print quality defects. The second challenge had to do with the glossy surface of the labels and the completely black pressure sensors. A lighting system had to be designed to eradicate undesirable reflections from the labels, and at the same time illuminate the flat black surface (to which the labels were adhered to) and allow for label position verification.
Conventional vision systems could not meet the two challenges Delphi's requirements posed. While color differentiation for the first challenge required strong lighting, the glare produced inhibited the label position verification requirement of the second challenge. An innovative solution was needed which only Neurotech was able to provide. Our engineering team realized that a vertically placed lighting and vision system would inherently produce glare and therefore serve as unsuitable for Delphi's needs. A customized fiber optic light and vision system was designed to emit light from above each of the four corners of every rectangular label. Having solved the glare problem, we also supplied machine vision frame grabbers and development software that fully automated the quality inspection process.
Although we met each challenge individually, what mattered most was our ability to deliver a customized package that improved Delphi's business. The automotive component industry is competitive in quality improvement, not only to meet manufacturer's safety standards, but also to keep in line with their just-in-time inventory systems that cannot tolerate even the smallest number of defects. Our appreciation for the special needs of the automotive industry helped us serve Delphi well.