The surface inspection system EXTRUSION MASTER, newly developed by ISRA Parsytec, enables automatic in-line inspection of profile surfaces during the extrusion process for the first time. Surface defects are not only automatically detected, but also classified. This means that it is now possible to reliably meet the demanding quality requirements of customers and only deliver fully inspected profiles. The information obtained can also be used to make quality decisions and support predictive maintenance. The EXTRUSION MASTER is therefore an important building block for intelligent extrusion plants.
In aluminium extrusion, the highest surface quality is of the utmost importance. For the automotive industry, in particular, the process chain must guarantee a faultless surface of the extruded product. Surface defects are usually bubbles, inclusions, streaks, and scratches caused either by insufficient process parameters, the die, the raw material or handling. Using powerful detection algorithms, the inspection system reliably differentiates between relevant defects and groove structures on the profile surfaces. The inspection system (SIS) not only detects surface defects but also helps to optimize the production process. In a future version, the system is to provide information on how defects can be repaired and how to point out irregularities in the production process at an early stage.
The reliable and precise inspection ensures not only the consistently high quality of the aluminium profiles but also the optimal utilization of the extrusion die. ISRA's EXTRUSION MASTER is capable of predicting the maximum die utilization and determining the optimal replacement time before damage occurs to the profile. The system also supports immediate and rapid quality decisions based on reliable defect classification. On the basis of this data, it also permits a more in-depth analysis of the causes. This significantly reduces the reject rate.
Automatic surface inspection through machine vision offers fast and reliable detection and classification of surface defects during ongoing production. It plays a central role in implementing the future vision of a smart factory (e.g. rolling or extrusion). The EXTRUSION MASTER is also the first step on the way to a digital aluminium extrusion plant. By referencing the detected defects and their position, the system creates the basis for cutting optimization in order to generate a maximum yield from the production material. For example, the SIS can signal to the end saw where to cut, so that the defective parts are automatically sorted out. In addition, automatic sorting of the cut profiles on the basis of the detected defects is possible.
By significantly reducing scrap and the response time to process irregularities as well as enabling a higher production output with the highest possible surface quality, the SIS has a payback time of only a few months.