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University of South Australia

School of Advanced Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering

DEFECT DETECTION IN HIGH PRESSURE DIE CASTING PRODUCT


USING IMAGE PROCESSING TECHNOLOGY

by
Wahab, Md Said in
Student 10: 100008279

Under the supervision of


Dr. Lingxue Kong

A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the


requirement for the degree of
Master of Engineering (Advanced Manufacturing Technology)

July, 2003
Disclaimer

I declare the following to he my (l\\ n \\'UrK. unless nthlT\\'isc rl'i"c-rl'Jlcl'1. ;1' ,klt:}-. ; h-_ il,,-

l,:ni\'ersity's policy on plagi;lrism.


Abstract

In this thesis an Automated Visual Inspection (AVI) system for ckl'eel dL'lc'L'li"i1 ('( 111~h

Pressure Die Casting (HPDC) product has been dcveloped, The sy,lelll i, l'i1;lblin~ 1(\

detect external structural defects of the product particularly for crack and Iwk. This lhesi,

also describes detailed procedures based on image processing technnl,,~} IIhich include

enhancement/preprocessing, segmentation, codingifeature extractinn and I III age

analysis/classification/interpretation, The commercial Matlab image processing kls been

used to implement these procedures, An intelligent approach based on mllrpllOlog~ and

fuzzy logic is proposed to detect such structural defects on the surface.

The proposed method has been implemented and tested on a number of 111'1)(' I'rllducl.

The results suggest that the method provide an accurate identification tn lhe dekelS and

be extended for further application, The results also suggest that the system 1I('rk lIell

enough to help die casting manufacturer to improve the value or die Glsling I,rllduc\ lil;11

they can obtain from automated inspection system,

A few suggestions have been discussed for future research to address the limiwlillns of

this research.

II
Acknowledgments

I wish to express m)' sincerest thanks to my advisor. Dr. Lingxue f--:.!lng rllr hi, gllld;lllc'C',

paticncc, and support throughout this thcsis, especially through the tillle, \'. hc'lI thL'

writing bccamc di fficul t.

Special thanks to my wife Anizam Mohamed Yusofand my childrcn !l1ms) id;lh & 1);lni;tI

for their love and encouragement. I dedicate this thcsis to my parcl1b It)r their ullll;lgging

faith in mc, \Vithout thcir dcvotion, support. patiencc, and encourageillent thr()lIglh llit thc'

pcriod of study. this work would not have bcen possible,

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Contents

1. Introduction .............................................................. .

1.1. The background of the problem .............................................. .

1.2. Problem addressed to die casting .................................... .

1.3. Suggested solution .................................................... .. .'"


IA. Aim/objective of the project..................................................... 4

1.5. Scope and limitation.. ......................................................... 4

1.6. Thesis roadmap.................................................................... 5

2. Litcl'atLlI'c Rcvic'v ........................................................ 6

2.1. Die Casting Process............................................................. 6

2.1.1. Hot chamber machine.......................................... 7

2.1.2. Cool chamber machine.......................................... g

2.2. The advantages of die casting process................................... 10

2.3. Application of die casting............................................ ............. 12

2A. Die casting defect..................................................... 13

2.5. Current inspection quality control process............................ 17

2.6. Overview of Human Vision andlvlachine Vision .............................. 18

2.6.1. Human Vision................................................ . ......... 18

2.6.2. Machine Vision................................................ 19

,),,1
2.7. An artificial intelligence in vision system for decision making ........... ..

2.8. Summary ............................................................. . 24

3. Imagc Acquisition and Storagc ........................................ 25

3.1. Introduction ............... .

IV
6. Conclusions and "ccoI11mcndations .................................. M,

6.1. Introduction ..................................................... .

6.2. Achievement. ................................................... .

6.3. Recommendation for future work ............................................... 7()

Appcndixcs

Appendix A Typical defects in die casting ............................................ 75

Appendix B Comparison of human vision. machine vision and compliter \isioll.:;n

Appendix C Matlab Code.................................................... .. ~~

\,1
Figures and Tables

Figures

Figure 2.1 Hot chamber machine .... '" .................................................... 7

Figure 2.2 Cool chamber Machine ......................................................... 9

Figure 2.3 Commercial High Pressure Die Casting machine ........................... 9

Figure 2.4 Process economic for die casting .............................................. 10

Figure 2.5 Die casting end user 2003 ........................ '" ....................... " .. 12

Figure 2.6 Sample of crack defect. ......................................................... 15

Figure 2.7 Sample of hole I ................................................................. 16

Figure 2.8 Sample of hole 2 ................................................................. 16

Figure 2.9 Industrial manufacturing cell with vision system .......................... 20

Figure 3.1 Vision inspection system procedure .......................................... 26

Figure 3.2 Front lighting system ............................................................. 28

Figure 3.3 Backlighting system .................. " .............. ' ......................... 28

Figure 3.4 Structured lighting system ...................................................... 29

Figure 3.5 (a) Image matric presented in pixel (b) image appear in the screen and

(c) graycale value corespond to the intensity of the image ................ 31

Figure 4.1 (a) Original image. and (b) image after wiener filter. ...................... 36

Figure 4.2 A histogram computed from image after wiener process .................. 39

Figure 4.3 Threshold is set at> 60 ......................................................... 40

Figure 4.4 Threshold is set at> 109 ....................................... . ... .41

Figure 4.5 A negative image after morphological operation ........ . . ... 47

Figure 4.6 Background of the image...... ... ... ......... ............................ 48

Figure 4.7 Image after background subtraction process.............................. 48

VII
Figure 4.8 Final image after segmentation operation ................................... -1')

Figure 4.9
~
Pseudocolor index image for matrix A ...................................... ~ I

Figure 4.10 Pseudocolor index image for three objects .................................. ~2

Figure 4.11 Ellipse orientation............................................................. (,()

Figure 5.1 A final image after decision making procedure ............................. ()-1

Figure 5.2 . image 1.................................................. hh


Result from analysis ~

Figure 5.3 Result from analysis image 2 .................................................. 67

Tables

Table 4.1 Sub morphological operation .................................................. -13

Table 3. J Type of extracted feature from the imagc .................................... 5""

Table 3.3 Extracted feature for object 1 ................................................. 56

Table 3.4 Extracted feature for objcct 2 ................................................. 5()

Table 3.5 Extracted feature for object 3 ................................................. 57

...
\,111
Nomenclature

Symhol Explaination

/ 1->
',' The conjugate of matrix A

A' The transpose of matrix A

A " B The matrix procluet of A ancl B

'is not an clement of

E 'is an clement of

c 'is a subset of

La

.
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I fl tro .'" uction

This chapter will begin by giving a rather detailed explanation of the b~ll'kgr<lullll Ilj' the

problem and explaining why it is necessary to introduce an automated \isual inspectioll

for High Pressure Die Casting (l-IPDC), Then, the suggestion to the pr<lblclll_ objccti\e

and limitation will be discussed,

1.1 Backgl'olllHI of thc problcm

During the last two decades, the manufacturing environment has seen the illtl"otiuctinll oj'
~ ~

many new technologies that have automated most or the major rUllctillih ill a typical

manufacturing environment However. one major manufacturing j'ullctiull tklt still

remains to be successfully automated is that of quality control and part inspectillil III,

Traditionally, the inspection and quality control tasks have been perli'l"llleli Illl ~I lahlll"

intensive or manual inspection basis [7, 3], These traditional inspectillil Illclhlltis lIel"e

based on a statistical quality control system in which the quality of all entil'e hatch oj'

products is defined by a process of statistical inference drawn ii'om the inspcctillil oj' a

sample population of parts taken fr0111 the batch, The sample or prlllilich ,II'~III II lillill the

batch would he inspected by a team of human inspectors that arc illh,'I'c'nll:- pl'lIne til

making inspection errors although they are required to inspect a C()lh:,icl';:i'I\ :'cclllu:d

number of parts, Several independent surveys ~

1
C/wjJler I. /lllr()lilldi()17

concluded that, even when given a rigid set of explicitly defined inspection tasks. human

inspectors can at best only achieve inspection efficiencies in the region or i\()lr,.

-
Traditional human inspector based inspection is an inerficient. time consull1inl! and custh'
.
.
-
process that increases the overall production costs without beinl! able to \1
:0
1\'C I (lOcyo

assurance of the quality of the part.

The delivery of a batch of poor quality parts can result in a drop of between I (J'~/;) and 15%

of the total sales of most products and up to 20% for manufactured components [4].

Considering the competitive nature of the global consumer market and its expectation for

higher levels of quality at continually reduced values, manufacturers can no longer afford

to implement traditional inspection techniques. As a result a methud Ill!' autumated

inspection is required.

1.2 Problcm addt'csscd to dic casting

High Pressure Die Casting (l-IPDC) process is considered as a modern 11lanul~lcturing

process, and mass production facility for high speed production. Compared to other

manu[lcturing processes, HPDC is among the fastest production and call produce

approximately 100 parts/minutes [5] for small components. BeG1USC of this. the

inspection task become more complex and is normally the bottle-neck in an oper~ltion. As

most products are manually inspected, many products may have to be scrapped when

come to the final inspection stage after the process has been completed dUl' tll the lack of

appropriate inspection systems at early stages. This problem can be reduced i I' ~lli dei'ccts

are identiiied as early as possible and the information is feedback to the clllltwlier to

diagnose and control defects.

-
')
Chapler I. Inlrudlicliul1

HPDC process is suitable for high volume production. If all products manufacturlCd with

HPDC need to be inspected, manual inspection will no longer economic as it cllnlribuks

about 20% to the total production cost.

1.2 Suggested solution

\Vith the increasing pressure on manufacturers and processors to deliver products at lower

cost with increased quality, sometimes known as a 'zcro dcfcci culillre. has highlighted

the need of applying automated inspection throughout the process 161. A ut1ll11atic
inspection system can overcome many of these disadvantages and offer manuL'lcturers to

significantly improve quality and reduce cost.

The automated inspection system will greatly reduce the costs typically associatcd with

the inspection process whilst simultaneously improving the quality assurance or the

manufactured products. furthermore the utilization of Automated Visual Inspection

(A VI) technologies should significantly reduce the labor costs incurred in the inspection

process by replacing the large team of semi-skilled workers with a small grllup \)\" skilled

operators, which is of particular benefit to developed countries where labor cust is very

high and process innovations are urgently required by employing advanced technology.

Quality is more than just a manufacturing issues. it is also a marketing alld businlCss issue.

By improving quality, production costs will decrease by labor saving through reducing or

eliminating rework and scrap, and saving warranty and repair cost.
C""!,lcr I. IlIlmilllelion

1.2 Aim/objective of the ploject

The aim of this project is to develop a visual inspection system using image processing

technology. The system will be used for automatically detecting structural de!"ects Oil high

pressure die casting (HPDC) products. At this stage. only two types of defects i.e. crack

and hole. will be analyzed in this study. However. the algorithm developed in this work

for eracks and holes can be easily extended for the examination of any other kinds of

defects.


The inspection system must be able to identify and classify those defects only US1l1g

images taken from product and should be very quick and robust. These requirements are

needed if the systems arc going to be used for real industrial application and online

inspection. They will replace the current human inspection system in the I-I poe processes

which is subjective and has many drawbacks mainly caused by human tiredness and

slowness.

This project also demonstrates the application of an image processing tool 1vlatlab. to the

establishment of the inspection system. It will implement some algorithms that have been

established in the Matlab to perform image processing tasks.

1.3 Scope and limitation

The following tasks have been setup in order to accomplish the aim 01" the project.

In this project. an overview of die casting process and vision system \\i II be presented as

a background knowledge and understanding to the problem. Only rele\'~lnl int(lI"Ination in

4
image processing teclmology to be used in the current study discusscd in dt::tails (as a

methodology to solve the problem).

. dt::tcct al1\- dckcts or


This project also requires developing a system to automatically

HPDC products such as crack and holes. The system must be able to idcntiry and classifv

the defects from a given image through the use of algorithms in imagc proccssing. Thc

development of such a system will be based on technique and options <J\'ailahk in thc

processing tool.

Images of defective components are taken from a previous project. No image acquisition

process will be involved in this project. However procedures and processes of acquiring

image for the normal situation will be presented.

1.4 Thesis roadmap

This thesis consists of five chapters. Chapter 2 describes an overview about high prcssure

die casting (HPDC) process, advantages and its application in manufacturing industlies. It

also discuss on different kind of defects in die casting and current procedure on inspcction

and technique to control defects. Overview on human vision and machine vision \\ill also

be discussed as well as their application in current industries. Chapter :1 descri bes an

overview of an image acquisition process and storage. Chapter 4 describes image

processing technology and procedure to detect defective area in the imagcs. Ch~lpter 5
.
describes an image analysis. classification and interpretation. Finally. Chaptcr () Ilill

summaries the finding of the study and describes the future research lhal nceds 10 addrcss

the limitations of this work.

-
)
Literature ~view

This chapter will discuss an overview of die casting process as background knowledge to

the process on how the product has been made. Then, it followed by explanation of

common defects and current procedure to detect defective component. The purpose of

this discussion is to define what capability of the current procedure is to make sure all

products are free from manufacturing defects. An overview of human and machine vision

and some application on machine vision in robot and manufacturing process will also be

discussed. Finally, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) used in industrial vision application will

be discussed. The purpose of this description is to highlight that the use or an Artificial

Intelligence is necessary particularly in decision making to enhance the system capability

to adaptively control and monitor any possible defects on product.

2.1 Die Casting P"ocess

The North American Die Casting Association (NADCA) [7] has defined the die casting

as:

A IIwl11!(actllril1g process for produCing accurately dimensioned. s/w/"ph' dcfincd SlIloot h

or textured-slllj'ace melal paris. 11 is accomplished by forcing molten mc/{t! IInder high

pressure inlo reusable metal dies.

6
Chapter 2. Literature Review

Die castings are a m o n g the highest volume, mass-produced items manufactured by the

metalworking industry. Die castings are important components in thousands of consumer,

commercial and industrial products such as automobiles, household appliances,

recreation, farm and garden equipment, electrical equipment, general hardware, power

tools, computers, toys, and a great m a n y others too numerous to mention. In fact, die

castings have greater utility and are used in more applications than components produced

by almost any other metal forming process.

Die-casting can be done using a cold chamber or hot chamber process [8 |.

2.1.1 Hot Chamber Machines

Hot chamber machines (Figure 2.1) are used primarily for zinc, and low melting point

alloys which, do not readily attack and erode metal pots, cylinders and plungers.

Advanced technology and development of new, higher temperature materials has

extended the use of this equipment for magnesium alloys [8],

Figure 2.1 Hot chamber machine [8].

1
Chapter 2. Literature Review

In the hot chamber machine, the injection mechanism is immersed in molten metal in a

furnace attached to the machine. As the plunger is raised, a port opens allowing molten

metal to fill the cylinder. As the plunger moves downward sealing the port, it forces

molten metal through the gooseneck and nozzle into the die. Alter the metal has

solidified, the plunger is withdrawn, the die opens, and the resulting casting is ejected | 8 | .

Hot chamber machines are rapid in operation. Cycle times vary f r o m less than one second

for small c o m p o n e n t s weighing less than one ounce to thirty seconds for a casting of

several pounds. Dies are filled quickly (normally between five and forty milliseconds)

and metal is injected at high pressures (1,500 to over 4,500 psi). Nevertheless, modern

technology gives close control over these values, thus producing castings with line detail,

close tolerances and high strength [8],

2.1.2 Cold Chamber Machines

Cold chamber machines (Figure 2.2) differ f r o m hot chamber machines primarily in one

respect, the injection plunger and cylinder are not submerged in molten metal. The molten

metal is poured into a "cold chamber" through a port or pouring slot by a hand or

automatic ladle. A hydraulically operated plunger, advancing forward, seals the port

forcing metal into the locked die at high pressures. Injection pressures range from 3,000

to over 10,000 psi for both aluminum and magnesium alloys, and from 6.000 to over

15,000 psi for copper base alloys [8].

In a cold c h a m b e r machine, more molten metal is poured into the chamber than is needed

to fill the die cavity. This helps sustain sufficient pressure to pack the cavity solidly with

casting alloy. Excess metal is ejected along with the casting and is part of the complete

shot.

8
Chapter 2. Literature Review

Ejector
Platen Stationary
Pla,en
(moves Ejector

Die Halt

Figure 2.2 Cool chamber machine [8]

Operation of a "cold chamber" machine is a little slower than a "hot chamber" machine

because of the ladling operation. A cold chamber machine is used for high melting point

casting alloys because plunger and cylinder assemblies are less subject to attack since

they are not submerged in molten metal [8j.

Figure 2.3 Commercial High Pressure Die Casting machine /9/

9
Chapter 2. Literature Review

Figure 2.3 shows a commercial machine for HPDC process available in the market.

2.2 The Advantages of Die Casting Process

Die casting is an efficient, economical process offering a broader range of components

than any other manufacturing techniques [9].

104~-----------------------------------

1(J1

i-
Z
W
Z
0
0.. 102 /
2 PERMANEN
0
0 MOULD
cr:
w LOW PERI'lA ,'J! :--n
a.. ,/ ~"l::)ULC
10 'PRESSURE
'-1::::--------......;:N~-------/ [SM.J]
;--
t/l
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w
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l- 1
\SAND """-----,\ "'ell
<!
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W '", LOW
0:: PRESSLJRf
_ _ _.....1-::-_ I I ..,--____ L. _____- '
.......I.-
D' 2 3 5
1 10 10 10 10' 10 10
NUMBER OF COMPONENTS

Figure 2.4 Process economic/or die casting [5}

Figure 2.4 shows a chart for economic selection of several casting process based on the

cost per component against the number of components. It has sho\\J1 that the HPDC

process is the most economic process for high volume production (10 3 and more).

10
Chapter 2. Literature Review

followed by low pressure, permanent mold and finally sand casting. Other advantages are

\51:

High-speed production

Die casting provides complex shapes within closer tolerances than many other mass

production processes. Little or no machining is required and thousands of identical

castings can be produced before additional tooling is required.

Dimensional accuracy and stability

Die casting produces parts. while maintaining close tolerances.

Sirengih and weighl

Die cast parts are stronger than plastic injection moldings of the same dimensions. Thin

wall casting is stronger than those possible with other casting methods. In addition.

because die casting is not consisted of separate parts welded or fastened together. the

strength is that of the alloy rather than the joining material.

Mulliplefinishing techniques

Die cast parts can be produced with small textured surfaces, and they are easily plated or

finished with a minimum surface preparation.

5iimplitied assemhly

Die castings provide integral fastening elements, as bosses and studs. Hoks can he cored

and made to tap drill sizes, or external treads can be cast.

11
Chapter 2. Litera/ure Review

2.3 Application of Die Casting

Each of the metal alloys available for die casting offers particular advantages to the

components. Therefore, the selection of materials for components varies depending on

their function and properties of the components. Figure 2.5 shows the application of

several alloys in different industry.

Die Casting End Users 2003

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Percentages

Figure 2.5 Die casting end user 2003 [5J

Some of the applications for these alloys are [5]:

Aluminum Die casting

Aluminum is lightweight and while processed high dimensional stability of complex

shapes and thin walls can be achieved. Aluminum has good corrosion resistance and

12
Chapter 1. Literatllre Revie'W

mechanical properties, high thermal and electrical conductivity, as well as strength at high

temperature. Examples are the transmission housing in motor industries and the base for a

Teleprinter.

Zinc Die casting

Zinc is the easiest alloy to cast, it offers high ductability, high impact strength and IS

easier platable. Zinc is economical for small parts and has a low melting temperature

which prolongs the die life; Examples are the toys, small size components and the

components that have a good surface finish such as chrome-plated.

Brass Die casting

This alloy possesses high hardness, high corrosion resistance and the highest mechanical

properties of alloy cast. It offers excellent wear resistance and dimensional stability. with

strength approaching that of a steel part; Example is the plumber hardware such as water

taps and shower mixer.

Magnesium Die casting

The easiest alloy to machine, magnesium has an excellent strength-to-weight ratio and is

the lightest alloy commonly die cast; Example is a mobile phone case.

2.4 Die Casting Defects

Die casting defects can be classified into external and internal defects. External Jdects

are normally related to surface defects which can be visually identified \\hereas the

internal defects are those defects that built internally and can be seen \\hen certain

operation has been carried out such as X-Ray, Ultra sound or any destructive process.

13
Chapter 2. Literature RevieJ.1"

Both internal and external defects also have many different categories depending on

geographical areas and when or how the defect has been accrued.

Some ofthe typical defects are as follows [10];

Surface defect: Those defects are commonly called cold flow

Laminations: Defect from layers of metal forming during the process

Gas Porosity: Internal porosity from trapped gas of various kinds.

Blisters: Surface manifestation of trap gas

Flow porosity: Surface or internal porosity from poor pressure condition

Shrink porosity: Porosity from the volume change as the metal changes

state.

Sinks: Surface depression from shrinkage porosity problems

Leakers: Porous sections of the casting

Cracks: Visible and not-so-very visible cracks in the casting

Inclusions: Foreign material that may cause machining problems.

Holes: Similar to crack, but it is a hole.

Sample images of the above defects are listed in Appendix A.

2.4.1 Defectfor detection

As mentioned in chapter one, only two types of defect will be analyzed in this project.

that is, cracks and holes. Cracks along with sinks and leakers are among the defects that

have shrinkage problems as their common underlying cause. However. while shrinkage is

the root problem for a great many cracks, there are a number of other factors that can also

cause a crack.

14