VOGT Ultrasonics realized a fully automated ultrasonic inspection solution for spot welds on disc carriers of gears for diesel engines. This solution was realized for a component supplier of the automotive industry. The aim was a solid and process stable non-destructive material-testing of different types of components with a system in a narrow space without influence of cycle time.

The PROlineCUSTOM ultrasonic inspection system, which is armed with a robot, was directly implemented into the production process. A zero-defect-strategy minimizes the risks of faults caused from the automated evaluation of inspection results. The compact and space-saving system (only about 2.2m wide, 1.4m high and 1.1m long) inspects the spotwelds of disc carriers with an immersion technique method. There are three different probes on adjustable holders in a dip tank. Every probe operates another component type which is allocated in the PROline Plus inspection software. This eliminates any upcoming setup times. The operator is able to generate inspection plans after a minor effort of training due to an intuitive software handling. The storage of different inspection plans allows the flexible and successive testing of several component types without much effort.

Fast inspection cycle

A customer provided robot grabs the disc carrier which should be tested. The robot positions the disc carrier ahead of the appropriate probe and executes a rotary motion. The inspection is carried out by a time-controlled line scan, optional with an area-scan, controlled by a rotary pulse generator. Water is used for coupling the ultrasound onto the component. The water of the dip tank runs over an overflow back into the tank which owns a temperature control, an UV disinfection, a mechanized filter as well as a pump, which pumps the water in an adjustable quantity into the tank. The robot transports the component to a drying-unit after the inspection process. After this the customer provided robot carries the dried component, depending on the inspection result, into the production process or rejects it. This cycle time for one disc carrier amounts only about 30 seconds, including setup time, inspection, evaluation and drying. 

The PROline inspection- and evaluation software generates a clear inspection protocol according to the requirements of the operator. The inspection result communication takes place with a superior customer system via ProfiNET interface.