Barkhausen noise measurement automation part 2: How to automate Barkhausen noise measurement?

Barkhausen noise automation have human, technical and industrial factors.

Barkhausen noise measurement can either be performed manually by using a sensor and analyzer, or it can be fully automated to include the production line. There are also solutions for semi-automated measurements when full automation is not needed. In this article series we will explain how to automate Barkhausen noise measurements, and why. In addition, this second article will explain how to automate Barkhausen noise analysis.

CrankScan 200 vs RoboScan M measuring
Same crankshaft measured with semi-automated system and robotized system.

Main features of Barkhausen noise systems

Main features of the Barkhausen noise systems are sensor handling, sample handling and software.

Sensor handling

Sensor is attached to sensor fixture that guides it to the measurement location and ensure good contact (or steady air gap) between the sensor and sample. Fixtures are attached to sensor arms or robotic arms.

Sample handling

Sample handling includes sample supports, sample clamping, sample movements and loading/unloading.

Software

Basic Barkhausen noise data collection software can be extended with different kinds of support software for data analyzing, measurement programs, sample handling and maintenance.

Automation levels of Stresstech Barkhausen noise systems (from user perspective)

Manual

  • Operator picks measurement template (manually or with help of data matrix reader).
  • Operator scans the surface with a hand-held sensor and moves the sample by hand as needed.
  • Operator starts and stops measurements manually while the software collects and saves data.

Semi-automated

  • Operator loads, unloads, and clamps the sample to the system.
  • Operator picks a measurement template (manually or with help of data matrix reader).
  • Operator positions the sensor with the help of sensor arms and fixtures.
  • Operator starts the measurement while the motorized movements take care of the sample or/and sensor movements.
  • Auto-stop feature stops the movement after one surface is measured.
  • Software collects and saves measurement data.

Automated

  • Operator loads, unloads, and clamps the sample to the system.
  • Operator picks the measurement program (manually or with help of data matrix reader) and starts the measurement.
  • Operator changes sensor manually with a quick coupling (if needed).
  • Software controls measurement routines and measurement positions.
  • Software collects and saves measurement data.

Inline/Robotized

  • Gantry robot loads and unloads the sample.
  • System clamps the sample.
  • System recognizes the sample and selects the correct measurement program.
  • System changes correct sensor for the measurement.
  • Software controls measurement routines and measurement positions.
  • System alerts operator if there are microstructure changes in the sample
  • Software collects and saves measurement data.
  • System alerts operator for maintenance need.

Note that robotized system can also be equipped with less automated options e.g. manual loading and unloading.

Main features on different automation levels of Barkhausen noise systems

Sensor handling

Manual sensor handling

  • Sensor can be hand-held or used with hand operated fixture to support sensor.

With hand-held sensor operator`s experience is the key factor. Sensor contact must stay constant during the measurement.

Semi-automated sensor handling

  • On semi-automated systems sensor handling is typically designed to take care of the measurement without operator assistance. In some cases, to ensure good contact it is recommended to use the operator support sensor fixture with handle during measurement.
  • On semi-automated systems, the operator positions the sensor on the correct spot. Depending on the sample to measure, positioning can be guided with different kinds of comb plates.
  • One system can be equipped with multiple sensors, and sensor channel selections can be automated.

Automated sensor handling

  • On automated systems, sensor handling is fully software controlled and does not require any operator assistance.
  • One system can be equipped with multiple sensors and sensor channel selection can be automated.
  • In some cases, quick coupling is available for sensor change.
  • Sensor fixtures are equipped with collision protection.
  • Software operated measurement routines and measurement positions.

Robotized/Inline sensor handling

  • On robotized systems, sensor handling is fully software operated and does not require any operator assistance.
  • With robotized systems, sensor change can be automated so that the robot picks the correct sensor associated with selected measurement template.
  • With robotized systems, sensors can be equipped with tool monitoring so that the system knows which sensor is in use. This way the system can for example collect data from mastering procedure, and number of scans it has done. This information can be used for maintenance purposes.
  • Robotized sensor fixtures are equipped with collision protection.

Sample handling

Manual sample handling

  • In manual sample handling, all the sample movements are done by operator.
  • It is possible to support the sample with different kinds of tools like clamps.

Semi-automated sample handling

  • With semi-automated systems, operator loads and unloads sample on the system and clamps it on its place.
  • Operator starts motorized sample movements. Some systems can be equipped with auto-stop feature. In certain cases the operator can stop sample movements when needed.
  • Barkhausen noise data collection can be synchronized with sample movements so that the sensor starts and stops data collection automatically after one rotation.

Automated sample handling

  • With automated systems, the operator loads and unloads sample on the system. Sample clamping can be automated or done manually with the operator clamping the sample.
  • Correct orientation of the sample is either taken care of with the clamping tooling or can be automatically detected by the system.
  • Sample movements are software operated. For testing purposes, movements can run in manual mode.

Robotized/Inline sample handling

  • With robotized and inline systems, sample handling can be automatized totally so that it does not require assistance. System communicates with the gantry robot.
  • Robotized system can be designed with different automation levels.

Software

Basic Barkhausen noise data collection software can be extended with different kind of support software for data analyzing, measurement programs, sample handling and maintenance

Manual and semi-automated systems

  • Barkhausen noise basic software (ViewScan) collects and saves Barkhausen noise data automatically with templates for different measurements. Templates include:
    • Measurement parameters
    • Data post-processing
    • Rejection limits for real-time rejection checking
    • Metadata and reminders.
  • Measurement template can be automatically selected with the data matrix reader.
  • Automatic reminders and guidance for the operator.
  • Automatic reminders for sensor cleaning and master sample measurements.

Automated systems

All the same as in the manual, semi-automated, and features listed below:

  • Possibility to simulate measurements offline with 3D view in some cases.
  • Measurement routines can be created according to sample dimensional parameters.
  • Templates can be linked with the measurement routines.
  • Easy to use UI for program creation and editing.

Robotized/Inline systems

All the same as in manual and semi-automated and features listed below:

  • With robotized system, all system operations can be software controlled.
  • Production line tells the system what kind of sample is coming, while inline system ensures that correct tools are available.
  • As robotized and other inline systems communicate with the production line, based on rejection status samples can be forwarded accordingly without operator assistance.
  • Automated measurement programs can be created according to sample dimensional parameters or teaching point by point.
  • Measurement programs can be automatically selected with automated sample recognition.
  • Operators view with easy-to-read notices for e.g. rejections, maintenance.

Read more about Barkhausen noise technology here and systems here .