The quality requirements in the automotive industry are higher than anywhere else. Every product is tested down to the last detail – this is especially true for safety-relevant components. Accordingly, precision components such as valve elements for the hydraulics of driving assistance systems need to be checked to 100 percent. This process is now being carried out by the new Poppe + Potthoff machine PPM 193 in only three seconds.
“Hydraulic valves are needed in large quantities for brake systems, gears or medical technology,” explains Stefan Dreyer, CEO of Poppe + Potthoff Maschinenbau GmbH in Nordhausen. “Only if these components are processed with the utmost accuracy, they remain leakproof and work reliably. Our machine is therefore deigned to test very precisely and rapidly at the same time.”
The components which are often only a few millimeters small are transported to two indexing tables via a spiral conveyor and then positioned by air pressure. Four cameras inspect their dimensional accuracy in comparison with reference images. What is not visible to the camera is checked tactilely. In addition, a leak test is performed. In total, ten features of the part are precisely measured.
A computer controls the inspection process and stores all measurement values in a database. According to customer specifications, defective parts are sorted out in six categories, the flawless ones are set on automatically changing pallets by a robot. The storage tower can accommodate several thousand components and thus allows for an operation of several hours without intervention.