Automated Piston Inspection

Unique problems often call for unique results. We firmly believe every application has a solution. Instead of trying to explain our experience, we prefer to let it speak for itself.

Automated Piston Inspection

Pistons, what are they good for? Absolutely everything.

If you’re familiar with the automotive industry, or really any machine field, then I don’t need to tell you how important the piston is. As for the unaware, the piston is the key ingredient for turning fuel into raw power. Essentially, there is no engine without pistons. 

Playing such a crucial role in an engine, it should be obvious that the construction and design of the piston must be accurate and precise to ensure proper utilization. A defect piston can, and will, cause major issues for any engine. These issues can range anywhere from poor combustion, high emissions and excess carbon buildup on the valves, and even burning too much oil causing dreadful blue smoke - all terrible problems for a smooth-running engine.

Well, here at SolVIS Inc,. we understand that when something with so many moving parts, like an engine, is created, it must be ensured that all the smaller components that make up the product are designed with just as much care and precision. After all, you are only as strong as your weakest link. 

Typically, the only reliable way to ensure a piston is proper is to manually inspect it. Countless factories and plants around the globe have whole departments just dedicated to someone holding a piston in their hand, rotating it all around, checking every nook and cranny for possible deviations and defects. That would be fine and dandy, except that limits your piston production to the amount of personnel you have ready to inspect each piston, and the speed at which they do it. Not to mention, physical quality evaluations can sometimes get muddled by subjectiveness in an operator. 

So the obvious solution is to throw the piston in front of a camera and call it a day, right? That might be enough to satisfy some other machine vision teams, but not here at SolVIS. Just like the engine that the piston helps create, the piston itself holds many individual components that allow the piston to do what it does. That means if you really want a proper piston inspection, you must inspect all the individual components of that piston: the ring gaps, the ring lands, the skirt, the combustion area, the oil drain holes, the oil control ring, everything! Well, that sounds like a lot of work. How do you inspect that many elements of one part, and then fit that solution seamlessly into a pre-existing assembly line? 

SolVIS' Solution - PistonVision!

The PistonVision is an automated piston inspection machine that ensures each individual element and component of the piston has been adequately created to be used in an engine. Designed with automation in mind, this 10-camera solution fits harmoniously within a pre-existing assembly line. Simply place the piston in the starting position, whether it's a robot or human placing it, and we’re off to the races! 

With a complex combination of vision algorithms, deep learning, motion controls, and PLC programming, our system sends a piston down our automated line, station to station, so that each aspect of the piston is properly imaged, inspected, and reported on. Not only can you now automatically tell if a piston is bad or good, you can also see exactly where the issue is coming from on the piston! From finding defects in the pockets underneath, to reading characters and data matrices on the top surface, and everything in between, our machine sees it all!

For questions regarding this inspection, reach out to Kade. 

Looking for a partner to help solve your application? Contact SolVIS today!

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