In many sectors of industry, it is essential in production and quality assurance to inspect or process often very small parts or products at extremely close range. There are two major drawbacks with conventional inspection devices: They are not ergonomic and they use 2D, so they provide no indication of depth. The Steinbeis Transfer Center for QA and image processing, Qualitätssicherung und Bildverarbeitung, worked together with the Quality Assurance and Industrial Image Processing department at the Ilmenau University of Technology to systematically investigate these disadvantages. As a result, they developed an ergonomic inspection and assembly workstation – the 3D Inspector.
The 3D Inspector is a table-top device with two color cameras, a ring light and a 3D monitor featuring polarization technology. It is positioned centrally in front of the operator making it much easier to mount or solder small assembly modules and inspect printed circuit boards, soldering joints or microscopic parts. The two color cameras project a 3D image of the viewing area six times the original size onto a monitor. An important feature when working with the 3D Inspector is the ability to view 3D images in real time, without any delay whatsoever. It includes polarization glasses to view images in 3D and thus gives an accurate reflection of depth as required. The unit provides the operator with sufficient space to work and the operating area between the object and the monitor is almost identical to reduce work fatigue.
The 3D Inspector can be used in the manufacture of PCBs, final assembly, maintenance and quality assurance, but also dentists’ laboratories and jewelry production.