The software solution for final visual inspection of airbag generators in series production was developed for ZF-TRW in Laage.
The factory there manufactures around 50,000 airbag gas generators in different variants daily. The original final visual inspection at the factory used simple image processing and manual visual inspection of the components by the workers. Due to the high volume and and fluctuations in material caused by production, this final inspection was fraught with risk and placed great strain on the workers.
The AEOLIA software uses a special variant of the Gaussian mixture model that makes it capable of learning what types of fluctuations in a product’s appearance are normal, allowing it to specifically detect deviations and designate them for subsequent manual inspection. Since airbag has generators are a safety-related component, the software needs to meet special criteria:
Detection rate: 100% (a defective component cannot be allowed to leave the factory)
Pseudo-defect rate: < 0.1% (every presumably defective component must undergo a follow-up inspection, which slows production)
High inspection speed: currently < 200 ms (evaluation must be in real time given the high volume)
Adaptability to different generator variants (the Laage factory manufactures around 40 product variants)
The software is being used for production at the factory in Laage and is currently being rolled out at other locations (e.g., Mesa in the U.S. and Xian in China).
Visual final inspection: defective components are marked red
Users of the AEOLIA software are the workers directly on the production line, who use the AEOLIA software to conduct follow-up inspections on possibly defective parts, and quality controllers, who are responsible for the final visual inspection. Extra options were added for quality controllers so they are able to independently teach and manage new variants.