Integrated inpection of sculptured surface products using machine vision and a coordinate measuring machine
In modern manufacturing technology with increasing automation of manufacturing processes and operations, the need for automated measurement has become much more apparent. Computer measuring machines are one of the essential instruments for quality control and measurement of complex products, performing measurements that were previously laborious and time consuming. Inspection of sculptured surfaces can be time consuming since, for exact specification, an almost infinite number of points would be required. Automated measurement with a significant reduction of inspected points can be attempted if prior knowledge of the part shape is available. The use of a vision system can help to identify product shape and features but, unfortunately, the accuracy required is often insufficient. In this work a vision system used with a Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM), incorporating probing, has enabled fast and accurate measurements to be obtained. The part features have been enhanced by surface marking and a simple 2-D vision system has been utilised to identify part features. In order to accurately identify all parts of the product using the 2-D vision system, a multiple image superposition method has been developed which enables 100 per cent identification of surface features. A method has been developed to generate approximate 3-D surface position from prior knowledge of the product shape. A probing strategy has been developed which selects correct probe angle for optimum accuracy and access, together with methods and software for automated CMM code generation. This has enabled accurate measurement of product features with considerable reductions in inspection time. Several strategies for the determination and assessment of feature position errors have been investigated and a method using a 3-D least squares assessment has been found to be satisfactory. A graphical representation of the product model and errors has been developed using a 3-D solid modelling CAD system. The work has used golf balls and tooling as the product example.