Vision technology

3D Stereo line scan vision system monitors ball and roller bearings

It is important to the service life and safe operation of ball and roller bearings that they are properly installed and have no imperfections. In order to detect manufacturing flaws properly and reliably, the best solution is automatic 100% inspection using 3D stereo line scan cameras immediately after manufacture.

Inspection is fully automatic, with no manual intervention, and is also contact-free in order to prevent damage. In an inspection system developed specially for this application, TKH’s 3D stereo line scan cameras are used to inspect the wide variety of types of ball and roller bearings. The cameras are characterized by their high flexibility and great speed.

The 3D bearing inspection is designed to inspect hundreds of different types of ball and roller bearings, with the ability to detect minuscule defects, as little as 50 microns. The system inspects up to 60 parts per minute by using high-end graphics cards to calculate the 3D data from the stereo images at high speed. The inspection system has a database that maps out images and results so that they can be retrieved and exchanged with the PLC and a monitoring system.

One challenge in particular is reliable detection of pressing defects. Such defects can occur when the separate components of the bearing are pressed against each other. As such defects extend almost imperceptibly in each dimension and are also very smooth, with depths of just 100 µm, detection demands very precise 3D data. The cameras must be able to examine both unfinished metal and partially polished surfaces of bearings for defects, just like the more matt parts. TKH 3D stereo line scan vision systems are a perfect match to this application, as they provide high-resolution RGB images and 3D data simultaneously.