Struktol - A World of Capabilities

News and week in review on

Scroll down for more news

Click here to subscribe to the daily news

Freudenberg upgrades its quality process with new vision inspection units

  8/14/2019 - Plymouth, MI - A new inspection unit that combines proprietary vision control technology with advanced automation and the benefits of additive manufacturing is transforming the way Freudenberg Sealing Technologies handles quality checks on very small parts. Freudenberg’s inline spring inspection machine, a packaging marvel no bigger than a standard microwave oven, scrutinizes 6-12 mm diameter garter springs at a rate of four per second for defects including kinks, gaps, irregular diameters and poorly joined ends. The machine segregates defective components out of a typical batch of 10,000 springs and then bags and labels the remainder for tracking and shipping to customers. Despite the minimal cost of each spring, a couple of pennies apiece, the first inspection unit installed at the company’s Bristol, NH, manufacturing plant is already lowering the company’s costs. Plant personnel note that scrap rates have dropped, variability in the inspection process has been reduced, lost production time on the line has been cut and working conditions have improved. Prior to installation of the inspection unit, employees used a light table and magnifier to inspect springs manually for defects. Under this process, thousands of tiny springs were visually checked on the light table and when a certain number of defects in the batch was detected, the entire batch was scrapped. Significantly, the new inspection technology is also eliminating the possibility of expensive customer recalls. As the unit identifies and tracks the defects it encounters, software transmits this information back to the spring making machine. When too many defects are detected, the inspection unit automatically shuts down the spring making machine so misalignments and other issues can be addressed. Defects can be addressed nearly as quickly as they are detected, said Robert Scavuzzo, vice president of Global Advanced Manufacturing Technology for Freudenberg Sealing Technologies. This dramatically increases the company’s ability to eliminate production of defective springs in the first place. “You will never inspect quality into a component,” Scavuzzo said. “You have to prevent defects in the first place. This unit makes it possible.” Freudenberg is developing a dashboard in conjunction with the inspection units that will collect data and allow operators to see which machines are operational and which need adjustments on one screen. Such visual capability is a powerful tool in today’s zero-defect environment, and is based upon proprietary automatic vision control technology recently developed by Freudenberg. The company’s Flexible Image Process System uses a series of algorithms to process a part for defects in less than 50 milliseconds. Based on the algorithms, the inline spring inspection unit inspects springs for eight different dimensional and surface defects. This technology is at the heart of the inspection unit’s automated vision control (AVC) capabilities. But the units also required other technology innovations to go from concept to operational design, noted Scott Sulhan, a senior engineering expert specializing in robotics and machine design at Freudenberg. In developing a prototype inspection unit, Sulhan was handed an extensive list of manufacturing requirements. A small, compact unit was imperative in order to fit the inspection units under manufacturing machinery. The units needed network capability that would allow operators to track the system on a large plant screen and on their cell phones. A small electronic dashboard that showed statistics and data needed to be incorporated into the unit. In addition, a mechanical chute that could move the springs quickly and smoothly through the inspection process and into separate bins needed development. The chute design that Sulhan developed incorporates intricate channels and extremely thin parts to move the tiny springs smoothly through the inspection process. Sulhan turned to additive manufacturing to help the company achieve perfectly machined success. “These components would have been incredibly difficult to machine using traditional methodologies because of their size and the intricacy of their design,” Sulhan said. Instead, Sulhan asked colleagues who were working with Additive Manufacturing equipment to help him develop the necessary components. The team worked to manufacture a variety of intricate parts layer by layer, saving considerable time and money. Additional component adjustments were designed and manufactured quickly, again using Additive Manufacturing, once the prototype was assembled and potential mechanical issues were discovered. Freudenberg will machine and build the new inline spring inspection units at its Machine Tool Center (MTC) in Northfield, NH. Equally important, with the successful development of a highly precise, remarkably small inline spring inspection unit under its belt, Freudenberg intends to develop larger inspection units for use in other manufacturing operations. The Flexible Image Process System and additive manufacturing methodologies will be incorporated into these efforts as well. “Freudenberg is proactive and innovative in how it maintains quality and value on behalf of the customer,” Scavuzzo said. “Advance Vision Control technology is very expensive. But through MTC, Freudenberg can rely on its own technical engineers, scientists, program developers and machinists to supply state-of-the art inspection equipment and systems that meet customer demands while making widespread installation possible within our manufacturing plants.”

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Conductive Silicone Rubber Market is estimated to reach $8.68 Billion by 2026 - click to expand

Safic-Alcan opens South African subsidiary - click to expand

Halcyon Agri receives $25 million sustainability-linked loan from Deustsche Bank for rubber plantations - click to expand

Arlanxeo goes virtual for its first global Technical Marathon - click to expand

Lianda launches new website in preparation for 25th anniversary - click to expand

Bridgestone donates emergency response trailer to Wilson County, Tennessee - click to expand

Monday, July 6, 2020

Cabot Corporation publishes 2019 Sustainability Report - click to expand

Cooper Standard’s Fortrex technology enables PolyOne launch of next-generation elastomer - click to expand

Cooper Tire adds winter drive tire RM258 for regional haulers - click to expand

Pirelli introduces tire with temperature adapting compound - click to expand

Bridgestone wins trademark dispute against Brazilian retread company New Tyre - click to expand

Friday, July 3, 2020

Book of the Day - Resistance and Stability of Polymers - click to expand

Trinseo announces 2030 sustainability goals - click to expand

Michelin hires eight youth apprentices for full-time positions at Starr, SC, facility - click to expand

Lanxess to hold virtual annual stockholders' meeting August 27 - click to expand

Dow launches MobilityScience platform - click to expand

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Global silicone coating market forecast with a CAGR of 7 percent - click to expand

Siempelkamp announces departure of CEO Christoph Michel - click to expand

Repligen to acquire Engineered Molding Technology - click to expand

Bosch Rexroth hosts free virtual Explore the Factory of the Future event - click to expand

Royal DSM appoints Zhou Tao as DSM China president - click to expand

PolyOne launches OnColor WC Choice for wire and cable applications - click to expand

Trinseo strengthens CASE team with two new hires - click to expand

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Global thermoplastic elastomer market forecast with a CAGR of 5.6 percent through 2025 - click to expand

Bridgestone teams with Microsoft on intelligent tire monitoring system - click to expand

Hankook Tire named GM Supplier of the Year by General Motors - click to expand

Nokian Tyres invites drivers to enter their favorite road trips - click to expand

Total Cray Valley introduces aliphatic resin - click to expand

Rubber Division and Endurica partner on rubber industry training opportunities - click to expand

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Stahl partners with CHAMPION project to replace conventional polymers - click to expand

Safic-Alcan extends distribution partnership with Momentive Quartz Technologies - click to expand

Cabot completes placement of all major air emission control equipment at Louisiana site - click to expand

Global OTR tire market anticipated to reach $26.4 billion by 2027 - click to expand

Bridgestone announces voluntary salary reduction for Japan-based corporate officers - click to expand

Kuraray America, Inc. launches nonprofit corporation to support its communities - click to expand

Market Reports

Global fluoroelastomer market forecast at $1.8 billion by 2025 - click to expand

Global automotive flooring markets forecast at $1.32 billion by 2027 - click to expand

Global OTR tire market forecast to reach $8.14 billion by 2026 - click to expand

Conductive Silicone Rubber Market is estimated to reach $8.68 Billion by 2026 - click to expand

Global silicone coating market forecast with a CAGR new 7 percent - click to expand

Global thermoplastic elastomer market forecast with a CAGR of 5.6 percent through 2025 - click to expand

Global OTR tire market anticipated to reach $26.4 billion by 2027 - click to expand

Global pressure sensitive adhesives market forecast to reach $12.8 billion by 2025 - click to expand

Outlook for the rubber economy in the face of Covid-19 - click to expand

Subscribe to daily news

Sign up for Daily News Email Update

RubberWorld will now notify you with an email when we update our daily news. Simply enter you email address in the boxes below and click the send button*, and you'll know the news as soon as we do!


email (confirm)

Type RUBBER in this field (prove you're human) in CAPS

* be sure to click the send button

By submitting your email address to RubberWorld you agree to allow Rubber World to send you daily email notifications relating to news in the rubber industry. See our privacy terms for more details