A Vector 2-D eddy current instrument from GE Inspection Technologies is
used to inspect aluminum cylinder heads at Montupet in Northern Ireland.
Source: GE Inspection Technologies
Two Vector 2-D eddy current inspection
instruments from GE Inspection Technologies (Huerth, Germany) are helping
Montupet (Livonia, MI) to maintain the high quality manufacturing standards
involved in the production of aluminum cylinder heads at its Belfast factory.
By using the Vector 2-Ds to provide 100% inspection, Montupet is ensuring that
it adheres to its rigorous quality policy.
Montupet works in partnership with many of the major European and American
automobile manufacturers and designs, develops and manufactures aluminum
Cylinder heads at its Belfast factory are manufactured using the low pressure
casting technique, which features very tight control of die filling to preserve
the quality of the cast alloy. Following casting, the heads are “tubed” to
debur all waterways and bores, before being heat-treated. They are supplied to
the relevant automobile manufacturer with a 0.7-millimeter skin on the
combustion face, and this is precisely removed by the customer before the head
is fitted to the engine block.
It is important that this mating surface revealed by the final skimming is
absolutely perfect. However, even the most precise of casting techniques carry
a risk of shrinkage, so to ensure that any such flaws are detected before the
heads are delivered to the customer, Montupet decided to investigate the use of
eddy current techniques to detect any signs of sub-surface shrinkage or
porosity. Consequently, they installed a Vector 2-D, on loan from Labquip, GE
Inspection Technologies Northern Ireland distributor, to carry out preliminary
This proved so successful that an inspection station was set up on the
production line. The Vector 2-D has been calibrated to detect a 0.7-millimeter
hole, 0.7 millimeter below the surface, to ensure that any cylinder heads
delivered to the customer will be flaw-free when they are final skimmed. Setup
is a simple affair with the instrument, as its single page setup menu
eliminates the need for complicated setup procedures. Explaining his decision
to opt for the Vector 2-D, Andy Chambers, process engineer at Montupet, says,
“I particularly liked the instrument’s large screen, which makes it easy for
the operator to come to a quick sentencing decision. The inspection process is
now a very fast and reliable operation as the operator just needs to scan the
probe over a template area on the casting. I also find the analogue outputs
useful, as I can record these for inspection traceability, a feature which is
particularly helpful for monitoring night shift operations.” In fact, the
installation has been so successful that a second Vector 2-D has been installed
on the production line to increase overall productivity.
Low frequency eddy current is ideal for this type of application, as
sub-surface flaws in aluminum and similar structures can be detected at depths
up to 10 millimeters. The Vector 2-D has been specifically designed to take
advantage of this and provides on-line and off-line inspection in the automotive
and metals sectors, where it is used to identify defects such as
surface-breaking and sub-surface cracks in a wide variety of components,
regardless of complex geometry. It features high probe sample refresh rates to
allow accurate inspection at high line speeds, and it incorporates the latest
filter technology to provide an excellent signal-to-noise ratio. As well as
operating as a stand-alone unit, the Vector 2-D can also be easily integrated
into automated systems, where its output can be used to activate a paint
marking system, an alarm signal or an accept/reject gate, minimizing the need
for human operation during the inspection process.
GE Inspection Technologies
+49 2233 6010
- The Vector 2-D provides on-line and off-line inspection in the
automotive and metals sectors, where it is used to identify defects such as
surface-breaking and sub-surface cracks.
- It has high probe sample refresh rates to
allow accurate inspection at high line speeds and it incorporates the latest
filter technology to provide an excellent signal-to-noise ratio.
- It can also
be easily integrated into automated systems, where its output can be used to
activate a paint marking system, an alarm signal or an accept/reject gate.