Achieve 100% quality on vehicle backlights with fixed thermal imaging

The automotive industry boasts one of the most sophisticated–and increasingly complex–supply chains in manufacturing. Automakers, auto referred to as OEMs, rely on supplier of varying sizes to manufacture components that are later assembled into a final vehicle. Strict quality requirements ensure that materials and manufactured systems, from Tier 3 to Tier 1, result in a car that is safe to drive.

Fixed thermal imaging is a cost-effective way for supplier to ensure that parts delivered to automotive companies meet those stringent quality requirements.

Prevent bad product moving downstream

To ensure the heating elements comprising the defroster grid meet specifications, glass manufacturers must test every rear window. Without proper evaluation, defective product could move downstream—potentially reaching the OEM and, eventually, the end customer, where additional cost will be incurred once the fault is discovered. Tier 1 backlight suppliers have several methods to test parts and maintain final quality, which eliminates the risk of damaging their relationship with the OEM.

The backlight inspection process using the ThermoView TV40 from Fluke Process Instruments

Factors of infrared quality inspection

Competing technologies to test for potential backlight defects fall short in several areas. An older method is passing aluminum rollers over the grid to check electrical continuity, whereas another testing method may utilize contact temperature measurement on each grid element. These alternative methods are both mechanically cumbersome and take significantly more time to evaluate the product.

An infrared inspection of a quality backlight

An infrared inspection of a faulty backlight

 

The ThermoView Solution

Fixed thermal imaging, the functional technology within the ThermoView Backlight System, is a cost effective and easy way to inspect backlights before they move further downstream. Once a voltage is applied to the heating grid, tests results captured from the ThermoView TV40 are nearly instant, and they are far more comprehensive than the above methods. Image subtraction accounts for changing ambient temperatures, looking only at the temperature difference. Automatic snapshots on failed parts give operators the ability to quickly identify the faulty element. Project loading through digital inputs helps completely automate the inspection process.

 

The ThermoView Backlight Solution integrates with existing control systems through industry standard I/O modules and a comprehensive software solution. Pre-generated project files also allow users to quickly setup the system and create tests as new products are developed and manufactured.

The ThermoView TV40 from Fluke Process Instruments

Conclusion

Overall, the ThermoView solution offers Tier 1 glass suppliers a cost effective, easy to implement, and 100% confident quality inspection system for backlight manufacturing.

Are you ready to take control of your process? Learn more about the ThermoView Backlight System here.

Additional information can also be found at FlukeProcessInstruments.com.

 

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