surfaceCONTROL is a turnkey system that is said to enable fast, reliable 100% surface inspection, and can be integrated directly into processing/assembly lines, or on robots. The system is based on the principles of deflectometry and fringe projection, which enables even the smallest of surface defects, such as scratches, dents and bumps, to be recognised reliably. In addition, the system can inspect surface aesthetics like form, shape and waviness. Usually, the defects to be detected are smaller than the manufacturing tolerance of the part, making it a challenge for conventional CAD-based comparison measurement systems to detect them.

Micro-Epsilon’s surfaceCONTROL is based on patented AI algorithms that have been developed to detect and quantify the dimensions of surface defects, even to single microns, in an inline industrial environment. The system’s measurement capability and ease of integration for both offline and inline environments, has opened up opportunities for automated visual inspection not possible with current industrial 3D vision technology. Applications include those in sectors such as aerospace, automotive, medical, domestic appliance and consumer electronics.

Jason Biddulph, technical lead for 2D and 3D sensor solutions at Micro-Epsilon UK, will introduce surfaceCONTROL in his seminar ‘surfaceCONTROL: solving the challenge of automatic inline surface defect detection’. The seminar will explain surfaceCONTROL technology, system configuration and technical performance, as well as looking at user case examples in several sectors.

The perceived quality of smooth, defect-free surfaces is determined by the look and feel, colour and shape consistency of the surface. High-quality finished surfaces are therefore a challenge for many industries. Although inspectors are able to recognise a high proportion of surface defects reliably and quickly, visual evaluation is often subjective and depends heavily on several factors, including tiredness, lack of concentration and varying light conditions. The aim of surface inspection is to achieve an objective, reproducible evaluation of surface deviations in order to quickly and reliably make decisions with respect to component tolerances.

surfaceCONTROL is designed for the inspection of diffuse surfaces such as metals, plastics and ceramics. The sensor scans the surface and generates a 3D point cloud, which is subsequently evaluated using specially developed tools in order to recognise extremely small defects and surface discontinuities. Sensors with different measuring ranges, areas and resolutions are available to suit any application.