Quality inspection efforts for many industries are paramount. Because of their importance, many industries’ quality processes are manual and time-consuming. Historically for the composites industry, quality inspection personnel have had the final buy-off for inspection results in addition to conducting much of the inspection manually. This fact stems from both a lack of trust in automated inspection methods as well as a lack of robust automated inspection systems. More commercially available and capable inspection systems are more prevalent than ever before, resulting in a recent shift of greater reliance on automated inspection methods.
There are several degrees to which automation can be used to support quality inspection efforts. Instead of a purely manual approach, inspection systems can assist inspection personnel in making their process more efficient and more straightforward. On the other end of the spectrum, automated inspection systems can thoroughly inspect the laminate on their own, presenting a statistical analysis of defects for quality personnel review.
Part complexity, the factor of safety, and budget all affect the choice of the inspection method.