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Pixargus at „Medtec 2013“: Optical inspection of cut pieces of hypo and precision tubes

„Free Fall Inspection“ system checks cut pieces of tubes on the fly

Pixargus at "Medtec 2013":  Optical inspection of cut pieces of hypo and precision tubes

Precision tubing in the gap between the LED light ring (right) and the camera unit (left).

At Medtec 2013, Pixargus is for the first time presenting its new ProfilControl 6-FFI system for optical inspection of cut pieces of hypo and precision tubes for medical applications, which have to comply with extremely exacting surface and edge quality demands.

The system is used for 100 percent inspection of hypo and precision tubes used in medical instruments and apparatuses as well as for cannulas made of metal and plastics. The system detects and classifies surface defects, such as inclusions, grooves, scratches or dents, over the complete product length. Furthermore, by means of a newly developed algorithm it checks whether the edges have been properly cut and/or feature no burrs. This ensures that only products completely checked and free of flaws are shipped.

With the development of the new system, Pixargus has bridged the gap between optical inspection of endless and cut products. So far the systems of the ProfilControl 6 series had only been used to inspect continuously manufactured products such as sections or cables. As the new systems can also inspect individual cut pieces, it can be used not only in the manufacturing process but also by the purchasers of the products for checking incoming material.

In order to make sure that the tubes are checked around their complete circumference from several angles all at the same time, the feeding system is provided with a gap. While the tubes are flying through this gap, their surface can be captured by the cameras from all perspectives.

Inside the measuring head, the surface of the tubes is uniformly illuminated by an LED light ring and scanned by six high-resolution line-scan cameras arranged at angles of 60 degrees around the tube. With these six line-scan cameras of more than 2,500 pixels each, the system detects surface defects down to 30 micrometer.

As soon as the system has detected a defect on the surface or at one of the cut edges, the system displays the defect graphically and sends a signal to the device that will sort out the defective material. The PC 6-FFI system operates so fast that defective tubing can be removed just a few centimeters after the measuring head. This makes the system extremely space-saving.

PC 6-FFI features an automatic lighting control system, which automatically adjusts to mat or shiny surfaces.

Pixargus supplied the first such system to a Japanese customer who has been using it in three-shift operation since its commissioning. It had been designed for inspecting mirror-finished tubes of diameters between 5 and 20 mm and lengths between 40 and 100 mm.

Pixargus at Medtec 2013: stand 1N44

About Pixargus

Pixargus develops and manufactures systems for optical inline measurement and inspection of plastic and rubber profiles. Established in 1999 as a spin-off of the Institute of Plastics Processing (Institut für Kunststoffverarbeitung IKV) of the Technical University RWTH of Aachen/Germany, Pixargus has specialized in optical quality control of extruded products made of plastics and rubber.

Pixargus systems inspect sealing profiles – for example, for the automotive industry – and tubing, catheters, cables or window seals as well as raw material (compounds) made of thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) and rubber. Additionally, Pixargus offers systems for the inspection of – textured, woven or non-woven – web material.

Worldwide, renowned manufacturers, e.g. B. Braun, Medtronic, Biotronik and Hansemed, use Pixargus systems for surface control and profile measuring tasks.

The company, based in Aachen/Germany, is active worldwide through its US branch and various international technical agencies.

Pixargus GmbH
Dirk Broichhausen
Monnetstraße 2
D-52146 Würselen / Germany

Regina Reinhardt
Suesterfeldstraße 83
52072 Aachen / Germany

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