Optical 3D Valve Seat Measurement

In the automotive sector, high demands are placed on dimensional tolerance and contour accuracy. The Kendrion Group develops, manufactures and sells high quality electromagnetic pipe inspection and mechatronics solutions for industrial and automotive applications. The company’s two business divisions, Passenger Cars and Industrial Drive Systems, are both located at the German site in Villingen-Schwenningen. The product portfolio covers high technology components and systems in the automotive sector, which include diesel and petrol engine injection systems as well as engine management and assistance systems.

Micro-precision components for high quality assurance valves are among the most challenging for quality assurance items at Kendrion, and are subject to the highest demands on dimensional tolerance and surface quality. In order to fulfill these requirements, Kendrion uses Alicona optical 3D surface measurement technology for error analysis and control of manufacturing processes.

Reducing Production Costs and Lowering Rejection Rates

“Our clear objective when purchasing the InfiniteFocus measuring system was to reduce production costs, and we have definitely achieved that.” explains Stefan Steimle, Head of Quality Management. “As issues of valve sealing could be positively correlated to the geometrical properties, and then optimized for the affected components, we have been able to significantly reduce the rejection rate in our production.”

In addition to producing very fine atomization of fuel, injection systems have a decisive control function in the injection of fuel into the combustion chamber of a diesel engine. The high pressure control elbow inspection manufactured by Kendrion regulate the necessary system pressure, in ranges currently extending up to 2700 bar.

The precise roundness and uniform surface finish of the valve seat is crucial in ensuring the correct function of the valves. In order that the pressure matches the requirements of the control unit precisely, the contour accuracy of the valve seat must be measured and analyzed for the slightest deviations. This requires measurement solutions that are both flexible and highly accurate. They also have to be suitable for measuring difficult to access geometries and smallest dimensions of valve elements as well as facilitate the analysis of critical surface structures.

“Of course we reviewed various manufacturers when looking for a measurement system. Other methods initially appeared attractive, but did not meet the casting steel inspection requirements at closer inspection”, explains Steimle. “Measurements must be performed rapidly, but must not compromise accuracy. This is where Alicona offers the most effective method, and has impressive measurement accuracy even with very tight tolerances.”

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