The automotive industry is one of the most important economic sectors in the world. Many car manufacturers use integrated solutions with Thermography as an essential tool to inspect, control and improve each of their processes, since temperature plays a fundamental role in them.
This sector is one of the most experienced in thermography with applications such as welding, NDTs, heat treatments, among others to which the bcbMonitor 4.0 and FLIR cameras can be perfectly adapted.
The adaptation of thermographic technology for inspection in certain processes in the automotive sector allows it to be maintained as the undisputed pillar of Industry 4.0.
Most of the parts from a vehicle have been through the casting process, either to produce an element using the mold technique or to manufacture blocks that will later go through the extrusion process. Therefore, the automotive industry is positioned as the most important customer for foundries.
One of the main variables in these processes is temperature. It is necessary to monitor and control the temperature of the liquid metal to achieve precise temperature measurements and guarantee the quality of every element, because the temperature of the mold has several impacts on the final product. Consequently, it is necessary to control its temperature since a heat variation can result into products with pores or defective parts that could result into high costs of defective products.
Thermography is today an essential component in control, production and quality applications, as well as to increase efficiency.
Monitoring these processes and their applications with thermography is possible with our systems:
- Thermal inspection in Die Casting (HPDC and LPDC), Gravity Casting
- Sand mold drying
- Lost wax mold preparation
- Checking liquid metal temperature.
- Refractory monitoring in melting and holding furnaces.
A vehicle is constructed with components from different material that are produced using a wide variety of technologies to meet the needs of the market. Heat treatment and surface modification are key technologies today to achieve the hardness, toughness and mechanical resistance that metals require to get durability.
To meet these high demands, it is important that metal components widely used in the automotive industry (engine blocks, shafts, cylinder heads, gears, etc.) go through a specific and correct heat treatment.
The supervision of these processes with the bcbMonitor 4.0 and high speed FLIR cameras allow an adequate control and analysis of the temperature. Some applications are:
- Continuous thermographic inspection according to CQI-9 in austenitized by induction
- Monitoring at the exit of austenitizing furnaces
- Tempered, Solubilized and Aged
- Checking quench by water or air
- Continuous inspection of refractory in furnaces
Hot forming is a process that involves high temperatures to obtain a more ductile material allowing deformation applying less force. The subsequent rapid cooling gives it its high-strength martensitic structure. The microstructure and final properties of the manufactured component are strictly linked to a good control of the temperatures, times and applied deformations. Large temperature differences in the product or in the die during the process lead to the appearance of non-homogeneous deformations that can take the manufactured component out of its tolerances. To avoid this, continuous and online monitoring is required for the processing of thermal information of the hot forming cycles that evaluates the evolution of the temperature in the part before and after the deformation, as well as the correct cooling of the die.
The bcbDieScan software, together with FLIR thermal imaging cameras, allows the entire process to be monitored autonomously and continuously and locate thermal imbalances, generating alarms in different formats that promptly report the incident.
Some of the most important applications within the hot forming process, where the software is applicable are:
- Checking blanks at the exit of the Hot Stamping oven (batch type and continuous type)
- Tooling inspection in Hot Stamping press.
- Checking of billets and die temperature in the Forge.
- Continuous inspection of sheets, heating with resistors and thermoforming molds
The demands of the current market seek more and more quality products, in the case of the automotive industry, testing the product is essential to locate defects and failures in the different components of the vehicle early, and guarantee the objective of 0ppm (0 defective parts per million products) sought by industries. To achieve this, it is essential to have advanced automation tools that allow compliance with regulations, detect failures early, guarantee product safety and increase brand reputation.
Advanced systems such as the bcbTestBench and state-of-the-art FLIR cameras allow these quality standards to be achieved through test benches that allow temperature control and monitoring to rule out defective products in TIER1 and TIER2 OEM production units.
The applications for this type of test are the following:
- Temperature control on heated seats
- Tire defects
- Tests on HVAC components
- Defects in windshield and heated medallions
- Heating in engines
- Verification in exhaust systems
- High speed tests in aribag