Industrial fabrics need to have specific characteristics according to industrial standards. Inspection units equipped with Allied Vision Mako cameras inspect kilometers of textile to detect any defects affecting the reliability and quality of the fabrics.
Textile is everywhere. It is one of the most versatile products used in almost every industry you can imagine, from uses in fashion and lifestyle to medical use or in the automotive industry. Other examples are sunscreens, lashing straps, dog leashes or protective fabrics for all outdoor sports. Every kind of textile has its own unique characteristics, based on comfort, strength, absorbency, repellency, abrasion resistance, and breathability. In all cases, the user must be able to completely rely 100 % on the product’s quality and lack of defects. In the end, his safety depends on the tensile strength or elasticity of a belt, rope or material. A faulty product could have fatal consequences. To maintain the specific characteristics of the fabric’s quality control and assessments are important elements in the production process for textile manufacturers. Ensuring these elements are usually time consuming and prone to error when carried out by the human eye.
High quality images
For this purpose, COMVIS, a leading Dutch company in the textile industry, has developed the Texplorer® software suite, specialized vision software for inline quality inspection of textile and industrial fabrics. COMVIS Vision inspection units that run Texplorer® software inspect both narrow fabrics (such as seat belt webbing, elastic belts, hoses, industrial belts for strapping / lashing, etc.) and wide fabrics (such as screens, sieves, (medical) bandage, base layers, woven and non-woven fabrics) for spots, stains, broken filaments and agent servant defects.
The inspection units are equipped with Allied Vision's Mako cameras. Integrated into the Texplorer software suite via the standard software for machine vision, HALCON, two Allied Vision Mako G-234 cameras capture high quality images of the inspected fabrics. The 2.35 Megapixel GigE cameras incorporate the Sony IMX249 CMOS sensor. At full resolution, these cameras run at 41.2 frames per second. With a smaller region of interest, higher frame rates are possible.
The camera delivers high quality images of the fabrics, profiting from the precisely aligned sensor. It can easily be integrated into inspection units such as the COMVIS system because of it small dimensions (60.5 × 29.2 × 29.2 mm, including connectors). The camera also includes Power over Ethernet (PoE), and thus can be operated via a single cable for power and data transfer. Stemmer Imaging B.V. , Allied Vision's distribution partner in the Netherlands, is providing the Allied Vision cameras as well as the Halcon vision software for COMVIS' Fabric Inspection System.
Detecting and analyzing defects
The Texplorer software analyzes the quality of the required specific characteristics in real-time. By analyzing the provided images through powerful image and data acquisition algorithms, the Texplorer system captures the smallest defects that are hardest to find. A graphical overview shows the running quality expressed over the last 1000 meters. Each defect type is represented with a respective colored dot. If desired, all captured defects are physically labeled and saved into a defect log file containing all necessary data such as time, position, production batch and defect image. The documentation of the detected defects guarantees full defect traceability and helps to improve the production process continuously. Kilometers of textile can be inspected in one go with a speed up to 200 meters per minute.
100 % inspection
By using automated vision inspection units instead of relying on human vision, textile manufacturers can speed up their production process and increase the quality of their products. The managing applications display real-time defect images and allows the operator to edit a protocol and adjust settings without the need to stop or slow the production process.
With COMVIS Texplorer inspection units, textile manufacturers can guarantee that their customers will be delivered A-class products, 100% inspected according to industrial standards, which is especially important when being used for safety-relevant applications. "The chance that you have seat belts in your car inspected by COMVIS and Allied Vision's Mako cameras is approximately 50%", said Harm Hanekamp, Sales Manager at STEMMER-IMAGING in Zutphen, pointing out the success of the globally marketed vision solution.