MIL OSI translation. Region: Germany/Germany –
Source: Fraunhofer-GesellschaftUp to now, fluorescence-based techniques have been considered more of an estimate than a reliable, quantitative measurement method: After all, not only precise references are needed to calibrate the method, but also a deep understanding of the effects that influence the fluorescence radiation. “We were able to develop a robust and extremely fast precision measuring method from the estimation iron,” explains Dr. Albrecht Brandenburg from the Fraunhofer Institute for Physical Measurement Techniques IPM. The world seems to have been waiting for it: the technology is spreading rapidly both nationally and internationally, and sales at the Fraunhofer IPM in this field are already reaching millions. For their development, Dr. Albrecht Brandenburg and Dr. Alexander Blattermann awarded the Joseph von Fraunhofer Prize. The jury justified its decision with the high technical performance and the economically measurable advantage for the companies using it.Detecting contamination in the production cycleAnother advantage: the technology can be used inline. “For the first time, complex 3D components can be checked for cleanliness every second during production – and 100 percent at that,” says Brandenburg, who has been researching at the Fraunhofer IPM for over 30 years. It was also he who had the idea of using imaging fluorescence measurement technology for component testing – primarily to track down contamination from oil or dirt. Such information is particularly important when it comes to safety, for example when gluing car components. For the measurement, a short-wave, violet laser beam scans the component surface and excites the organic contaminants to emit a long-wave glow. This fluorescent light is captured by the laser scanner, converted into quantitative measurement data and combined to form an image: regardless of whether it is a meter-long piece of sheet metal or a small electrical component. “The performance data achieved is spectacular: we can measure 40 million points per second and detect contamination levels of one milligram per square meter, quantitative measurements are possible from ten milligrams,” enthuses Blattermann, who developed and commissioned the inline system. “The F-Scanner makes fluorescence measurement technology for quality control and process control socially acceptable.”Success around the globe When asked about the recipe for success, Brandenburg replies: “In order to meet the industrial needs of a new technology, it is crucial to establish customer contacts parallel to the development and establish cooperations at a very early stage.« For example, with Robert Bosch GmbH as a customer from the very beginning: »With the new Fraunhofer process, we can detect the slightest contamination on the surfaces and increase the quality and thus the safety of adhesive bonds on electronic control units ‘ says Dr. Heiko Elsinger, process developer in the Bosch Automotive Electronics division. “This improves reliability, ensures faster processes and ultimately contributes to sustainable production.” Not only Robert Bosch GmbH, but also other entrepreneurs seem to have a similar view: since 2015, the team led by Brandenburg and Blättermann has around 3, 5 million euros in industrial orders from twenty customers in five countries. »I now sign offers for fluorescence inspection devices in different versions practically every week – for users in Germany and all over the world. The trend is rising sharply,” says Prof. Karsten Buse, head of the Fraunhofer IPM.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and/or sentence structure not be perfect.