By Frederick Marcotte, Telops Inc.
For most world-leading manufacturers, product defects and low quality are unacceptable. Deployment of infrared vision systems is among the most efficient and promising solutions to quickly identify manufacturing defects on the production line and to immediately sort and reject faulty materials. The real-time inspection of goods using modern high-speed infrared imaging systems is not only limited to finding defects, but it also provides key information pertaining to the output quality from automated assembly and production systems. Because of their great sensitivity (down to few mK), high-speed infrared cameras now allow for real-time detection of defects and trending with unprecedented efficiency.
Infrared vision has a key advantage over other types of inspection techniques: It monitors the thermal behavior of materials after the measurement and characterization of heat flux distribution across a given material. It enables the visualization of defects that are invisible to the naked eye or to any conventional visible inspection camera. Most defects (bubbles, cracks, etc.) generate local changes in the thermal flux that can be seen by a high-performance thermal camera. The anomalies are seen as ‘’zones of contrast’’ and can rapidly be detected and characterized with the use of a high-performance thermal imaging system.