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Micro-Epsilon to introduce its new 3D surface defect inspection system

09 April 2019

At the UKIVA Machine Vision Conference & Exhibition (6 June) at the Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes, Micro-Epsilon UK will introduce its new 3D non-contact surface inspection system for defect detection and for inspecting the aesthetic appearance of non-reflecting (matt, unpainted, plastic and bare metal) surfaces.

The new surfaceCONTROL system from Micro-Epsilon is a turnkey system that enables fast, reliable 100% surface inspection and can be integrated directly into processing/assembly lines or on robots. The system is based on the principles of deflectometry and fringe projection, which enables even the smallest of surface defects (e.g. scratches, dents and bumps) to be recognised reliably, as well as the inspection of surface aesthetics such as form, shape and waviness. Usually the defects to be detected are smaller than the manufacturing tolerance of the part, making it a challenge for conventional CAD-based comparison measurement systems to detect them.

surfaceCONTROL is based on patented artificial intelligent, AI algorithms, developed to detect and quantify the dimensions of surface defects, even to single microns in an inline industrial environment. Its measurement capability and ease of integration for both offline and inline environments, has opened up new opportunities for automated visual inspection, which is not possible with current industrial 3D vision technology. Applications are being solved in the aerospace and automotive industries, medical parts production, domestic appliances, consumer electronics and hand held devices.

Jason Biddulph, technical lead for 2D and 3D sensor solutions at Micro-Epsilon UK, will introduce surfaceCONTROL in his seminar “surfaceCONTROL: solving the challenge of automatic, inline surface defect detection”. The seminar will explain the surfaceCONTROL technology, system configuration and technical performance, as well as looking at some used case examples for several industrial sectors. 

Solving the challenge for inspectors

The perceived quality of smooth, defect-free surfaces is determined by the look and feel, colour and shape consistency of the surface. High quality finished surfaces are therefore a challenge for many industries. Although inspectors are able to recognise a high proportion of surface defects reliably and quickly, visual evaluation is often subjective and depends heavily on several factors, including tiredness, lack of concentration and varying light conditions. The aim of surface inspection is to achieve an objective, reproducible evaluation of surface deviations in order to quickly and reliably make decisions with respect to component tolerances.

surfaceCONTROL is designed for the inspection of diffuse surfaces such as metallic surfaces (e.g. uncoated, electroplated, EPD), plastic surfaces and ceramics. The sensor, which is based on the fringe projection principle, scans the surface and generates a 3D point cloud. This point cloud is subsequently evaluated using specially developed tools in order to recognise extremely small defects and discontinuities on the surface. Sensors with different measuring ranges, areas and resolutions are available to suit any application.

For more information on the surface CONTROL system or to book an appointment on the stand, please call the Micro-Epsilon sales department on 0151 355 6070 or email

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