Olympus white paper: Automotive QC, a closer look

29 October 2018 | Sponsored by Olympus Europa

from the industry banner

Microscopes fulfil a range of different roles in automotive QC: confirming the shape of components, detecting cracks or flaws, and identifying contamination. Due to their versatility, confocal and cleanliness microscopes add precision and reliability to many aspects of QC inspections

Every car contains precision components that need to be free of contamination in order to work properly. Parts with too high levels of contaminants can cause increased friction, which can lead to noise, wear and eventually premature part failure. Technical cleanliness inspection is a standardised workflow that counts and measures particles and provides a detailed classification of cleanliness.

Zoom on cleanliness
Cleanliness inspection microscopes, such as Olympus CIX100, can produce the most detailed information about particle contamination to meet standards such as ISO 16232, for example, using a simple workflow. These microscopes detect particles up to ten times smaller than most stereomicroscopes and the automated analysis only takes around 10 minutes, resulting in significant time-savings.

With reliable, automated reporting, inspectors can quickly make informed decisions on whether components meet or fail their standards for technical cleanliness. The improved efficiency and detection limit of automated microscopy enables more parts to be inspected, leading to improved reliability and consistency of manufactured parts.

Inspecting roughness with confocal microscopy
Common issues in moving parts of an engine or gearbox: fatigue, friction, disc slippage, improper sealing and lubrication issues, can all relate to surface roughness. Measuring and classifying roughness is essential for ensuring correct operation and maximum lifetime for many automotive parts.

Accurate and reliable surface measurements are challenging due to the wide range of shapes, sizes and materials involved. When inspecting many different components at one production site, fast inspection and easy switching between components are also key challenges.

Confocal microscopes are precise and versatile for measuring surface properties of automotive parts. These microscopes are able to accommodate a wide range of samples, identify curved surfaces quickly and carry out detailed roughness measurements.

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