Fully Automated Inspection Ensures Quality


A manufacturer of machined aluminum die cast auto engine parts needed an inspection system to check 128 separate features on an engine part. Part of the challenge was that the features needing inspection were present on all sides of the part.

The solution also had to account for the fact that the part needed to be loaded by a robot, and the inspection cycle time had to fall under 26 seconds. Required inspections included variable data on five features, presence and location of dowel holes, hole positions, hole diameters and their depth, datum flatness, spot face depth, and the presence of threaded holes.


The solution proposed by Alaark’s engineers consisted of a fully automatic inspection system with a PLC control and a human-machine interface (HMI). The system included various types of sensors and vision systems.

First, a robot loads the part onto the inspection machine, and the part is clamped. Sensors check for proper clamping, and on passing, the first round of inspections occur. Upon completion, the part is shuttled to the second inspection position by the use of a servo-driven slide. Additional inspections are performed, after which the part is shuttled to the third station. After passing, the part is then returned to the first station for robotic unloading.

This comprehensive inspection solution eliminated the need for additional time consuming, and often inaccurate operator inspections, and allowed the customer to track and document all failures as well as provide location feedback on features. The gage essentially eliminated costly customer returns due to part failures found at the final assembly stage.


• Inspection accuracy well beyond operator-initiated capabilities
• Eliminated cost on returns of failed parts
• Ability to record and track failed parts