Brake and fuel lines for the E and S Class from Daimler Chrysler are manufactured in the tube production plant in Sindelfingen, Germany. The lines, made of aluminum or steel, with diameters ranging from roughly 4mm to 15mm (supplied in fixed/ready-cut sizes). Tubes are provided with fittings on an automatic tube end processing machine, then formed on bending machines. Despite their different makes and years of manufacture, the tube bending machines all use the AICON TubeInspect for quality checks.
TubeInspect has been checking quality precision measurements in the tube production plant at Daimler Chrysler for a few years now. By eliminating mechanical calipers, changes to individual tube sections are electronically sensed and further processed.
The tube to be measured is placed inside the optical measuring cell. Geometry is detected by 16 high-resolution CCD cameras. The measuring volume is roughly 2500 x 1000 x 500mm and can be extended by repositioning the tube. Bends between 5° and 180° can be detected without problems and there is also a new measuring function for bend-in-bend forms. A color graphic monitor running under Windows providing operator guidance and visual display of the measuring results. These results can be recorded in a database and documented on a color inkjet printer during the actual measuring process. Operating the measuring system is easy, making bend corrections in the CNC program is the only thing that requires special training.