Assembly Guidance real-time AFP inspection system

Originally titled 'Real-time AFP inspection system'

Assembly Guidance Systems (Chelmsford, MA, US) has introduced LASERVISION, a system that provides fully automated inspection in high-performance composites manufacturing.

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Assembly Guidance Systems (Chelmsford, MA, US) has introduced LASERVISION, a system that provides fully automated inspection in high-performance composites manufacturing. Further, Assembly Guidance Systems has shipped its first four LASERVISION units to automated fiber placement (AFP) manufacturer Electroimpact Inc. (Mukilteo, WA, US), which is integrating the systems into its AFP machine cell. The inspection system will allow users to ensure alignment, place courses and inspect their work product. To perform inspections, LASERVISION automatically projects the centerline or boundary of the course to be inspected and then captures images with calibrated laser references. The machine vision component of LASERVISION instantly aims a high-magnification camera system. The captured high-resolution images, which can detail even small complex regions, are enhanced before electronic delivery to automated image analysis algorithms. Then the images are automatically archived and combined with documentation associated with each individual part produced. LASERVISION is able to use information directly from design data, enabled by Assembly Guidance’s software development kit (SDK). The kit provides a library of software development tools that allows composites manufacturing systems to control Assembly Guidance laser projectors and image-capturing optics with their software. Further, the locations of the AFP machine, mandrel and laser system are all known relative to a common coordinate system, which is said to reduce discrepancy in projections and actual ply boundaries. The system creates a transform such that projection data matches the actual tool location, accounting for inconsistencies in mandrel loading, for tool rotation and deflection.