Customer demand for quality is growing worldwide in a variety of different industry sectors: As can be seen in today´s applications in the field of glass fiber fabric manufacturing, surface inspection systems help to assure that even the highest expectations for quality are met. At the same time these systems play a critical role in production optimization.
The turnkey solutions consisting of high quality proven standard components work with highest resolution and provide 100% defect detection, classification and they also increase value.
ISRA inspection systems not only inspect all nonwoven fabrics, films and foil and plastic surfaces, such as for example hygienic fleece, tissue pads or foil and nonwoven laminate composites, much faster and more accurately than any other comparable system, but also glass fiber fabric. This fiber is a fiber-plastic composite made of a plastic (e. g. polyester resin, epoxy resin or polyamide) and glass fibers. Today, it is one of the most important materials used in construction. It is age and weather resistant, chemically resistant and non-combustible and features a high modulus of elasticity that improves the mechanical properties of plastics.
SISECAM, a company located in Turkey and the largest manufacturer of float glass and other glass ware, manufactures exactly this kind of glass fiber fabric through its division SISECAM Glass Fiber. In order to be able to maintain its leading position in Turkey and to expand its global business relationships, the company must observe the highest quality standards in the production process. One critical subtask: Assuring and optimizing the surface quality. In its search for a fully automated inspection solution, the company’s decision was made relatively quickly – falling back on the best experiences and recommendations from its parent company – and it chose the SMASH system solution offered by ISRA VISION. For a production system with a web length of 3400 mm and an annual yield of 1000 t, a system consisting of a total of four cameras and two special illumination units enclosed in a frame construction was purchased. The objective: Limit the need for manual inspections and increase overall productivity.
SMASH inspection solutions by ISRA are considered the number one choice worldwide for inspecting glass fiber fabric.
The advantages, which the inspection system has to offer, became obvious to the line operators very quickly after the system was installed. The operators can take corrective action very early in the production process to prevent defects and eliminate their causes. This also helped to reduce the number of production downtimes, which in itself increased production output enormously.
The main benefit is therefore a constant increase in production efficiency. “The inspection system supports us greatly in our production process", - praise expressed by purchasing manager Ufuk Tan of SISECAM Glass Fiber, - "It is a real helper." The experts at ISRA, highly experienced in the industry, integrate the turnkey all-in-one system solutions for defect detection, width measurements, quality improvement, data analysis and process optimization to work seamlessly in production processes – and to do so worldwide.
High-quality standard components are the basis of the system. The SMASH system is made up of high-resolution CCD cameras (with 500 to 12000 pixels), an illumination technology customized for the specific application and industrial computer systems. The high-speed camera works at 160 MHz. The illumination components, consisting of special white LED´s suitable for both bright fields as well as dark fields in incident light and transmitted light, are especially powerful and require little maintenance.
The PC plug-in card located in the industrial PC is the "heart" of the system, the SMASH web processor. This intelligent ISRA standard image processing board controls the cameras and processes the signals as soon as the data is imported - a noticeable advantage when it comes to processing speed. This is made possible by the special arrangement of programmable FPGA components. They guarantee that the surface defects are reliably detected, basically in video real-time, using electronic filters that are matched to carry out specific tasks. They system supports all typical standards, such as ODBC and OPC, to allow for a transparent exchange of data within the inspection system using production guidance systems and upper level quality monitoring tools.
Often times, space needed to integrate tools such as winders or slitters is extremely limited. The SMASH inspection system, though, can be integrated under the most unfavorable installation conditions in any production environment and operates reliably despite harsh environmental conditions, which are typically found in the nonwovens, films and foil or glass fiber fabric industry. The solid frame construction can be assembled quickly. The system can be implemented in just a few short days, as experienced in the example mentioned above.
System operators in the international nonwoven fabrics, films and foil or glass fiber fabric industry are usually not experts in image processing. That´s why it is so important to be able to offer an easy to use inspection system without impacting its high performance capabilities – one of the most significant features of the system. At the same time, razor sharp defect images with amazing details allow for unequivocal defect classification while running at full production speeds with validated defect data.
Today, an excellent surface inspection system must be able to offer much more than “only” precise defect detection. The deciding factor is that the overall concept is coherent and that it not only allows for flexible and highly accurate defect detection, but also features comprehensive quality assurance, seamless quality documentation, and the ability to optimize the manufacturing process as a whole. Highly developed systems, such as the ISRA VISION inspection system SMASH, provide manufacturers with the ability to implement an integrated value added chain from start to finish.