Quality Control for Cutting-Edge Composites

Process automation and quality control have become large obstacles affecting fiber reinforced plastics (FRP) part-production. In recent years, we have seen process automation opportunities leveraged, yet manufacturers still face challenges regarding quality control and component analysis. The increased demands of the market have forced manufacturers to analyze their existing methods and procedures, and explore alternative options to achieve greater process automation and quality control.

Advances in Optical metrology for FRP Parts
Considering the composite structure and unique optical behavior of fibers, conventional methods of measuring are failing to adequately perform. The required measurement tolerances are resulting in the destruction of prepared, semi-finished parts. Cost-effective technologies in the field of optical metrology designed specifically for FRP parts would help combat the issues of quality control and process, and newfound flexibility in 3D digitalization and defect detection now allows for manufacturers to justify small-batch composite productions.

The Innovative HP-C-V3D Vision System
At Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence, we offer a suite of integrated solution options, which package raw data into actionable information. Our HP-C-V3D Apodius Vision System (fig 1) presents an innovative, adaptable approach to three-dimensional part digitalization. This Composite Inspection System is specifically designed and developed to tackle quality control challenges during the design of FRP parts. Its versatile three-dimensional capabilities allow for detailed surface texture mapping, part geometry acquisition and versatile handheld convenience with the ROMER Absolute Arm.


An Optical Measuring System Designed Specifically for Fiber Orientation Measurement
The HP-C-V2D Apodius Vision System (fig 2) is an optical measuring system designed specifically for defect detection and fiber orientation measurement. This innovative system allows for fully autonomous production and stable offline measurements.



Constructed for both small and large volume production, the HP-C-V2D Apodius Vision System (fig 3) is the only metrological system for FRP parts that provides valid and accurate measurements for production releases in accordance to German standard procedures. Therefore, the notable system also includes the necessary statistical process control (SPC) assessment of production capability.

Achieving Greater Process Automation and Composite Parts Quality Control
The primary factors facing the economic growth of FRP part-production are process automation and quality control. Disregarding quality assurance and design of fiber structures results in risks that reduce the economic opportunity within FRP production.

The HP-C-V3D Apodius Vision Sensor is the first of its kind dedicated to composite part applications. Designed to accompany the ROMER Absolute Arm with Integrated Scanner and Apodius Explorer 3D software, its three-dimensional scanning capabilities provide detailed surface mapping, creating data which allows the sensor to deliver 3D fiber orientation measurements to prevent future production errors and to predict part performance.

Design and simulation data in addition to previously digitalized master parts can be defined as reference objects. Furthermore, the valid measurement results can be used for iterative simulation and design purposes via export functions, thereby being lead back for an optimized lightweight design.


  • Alexander Leutner

    Managing Director and co-founder of Apodius GmbH Alexander Leutner is the Managing Director and co-founder of Apodius GmbH, which was acquired by Hexagon in 2016 and is now part of the Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence organization. Leutner holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering for production engineering from RWTH Aachen University in Aachen, Germany, with an emphasis on measurement technology and quality management.

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