Tokyo, Japan – Toshiba Digital & Consulting Corp. and Spain’s Gestamp plan to bring advanced monitoring and analysis to vehicle chassis parts welding. Using the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), and data from camera images and acoustic emission (AE) sensors, the companies aim to develop a system to precisely detect weld-seam quality.
The companies have been collaborating since April 2018 on a proof of concept initiative that has monitored the quality of the welds in chassis parts produced at a Gestamp plant in the United Kingdom. This initiative brings AE sensors typically used to test for damage in bridges and large buildings to the manufacturing process.
The sensors detect the characteristics of acoustic waves in the high frequency band, and Toshiba’s AI analysis technology uses the data to identify welding failures. Throughout the last 17 months, Gestamp has validated the initiative and its ability to ensure the quality of welds in chassis parts.
The partners have built on the proof of concept results and now aim to improve the welding detection technology. The IoT solution applies Toshiba’s AI analysis technology to data from internal welding quality detection by AE sensors, along with surface welding quality detection based on camera data.
Gestamp’s plant in Germany will test the upgraded solution until March, 2020, hoping to increase precision of the welding quality detection rate, enable deployment at other Gestamp factories, and accelerate efforts toward full-scale commercialization.