QMT News: May 2010
Fully automatic 3D surface inspection on the production line
Launching in June at the Automation show in Munich is Zeiss’s latest inspection system, SurfMax.  SurfMax is the first configurable inline tester for the surface evaluation of 3D parts. The results are objective, reproducible and not subject to fluctuations. Specified inspection criteria can be transmitted to other locations without any additional measures.

Utilizing the latest optical inspection and image processing technologies, SurfMax guarantees reliable results that leave no room for discussion, say Zeiss. The evaluation can be easily adapted to the inspection criteria.

The phase-shifting deflectrometry method employed by SurfMax is similar to the approach of a visual inspector. Unlike a visual inspector, who turns and flips the test piece to view it from different perspectives to be able to see surface defects, such as small dents, SurMax generates specific  reflections: LED arrays illuminate the test object using different phase shifting striped patterns. The semicircular arrangement of the LED array enables the optimal illumination of curved surfaces. Because of the enclosed design of the test space, the inspection is not affected by external light influences, one of the main requirements for stable and reproducible results.

Good parts are used for reference to run-in the system. This evaluation strategy reduces the learning phase and lowers the risk of slippage to a minimum.

SurfMax can be used to inspect matte and glossy metal, plastic and ceramic surfaces. The positioning unit enables the comprehensive inspection of test pieces.  Complete, automatic documentation of the inspection is generated, e.g. for customer verification. Additionally, well¬founded conclusions can be quickly drawn for production via the computer-based evaluation.  Because, it is not a be-spoke system, SurfMax is not subject to long delivery times and is quickly ready for use.

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