During the manufacture of auto parts, specifications must be met – whether by the auto parts supplier or the automobile manufacturer. It is important that the parts meet specifications as they are critical for maintaining the performance standards and safe operation of automobiles,trucks, and other vehicles during their lifetimes. However, the demand for faster, cheaper production of parts while still meeting or exceeding ever-stricter quality standards keeps increasing. This report explains how digital microscopy is used to inspect and document parts easily and quickly in order to determine conformity with specifications.
Digital microscopes are optical microscopes without eyepieces which display the image directly on a monitor. The design of digital microscopes makes them versatile and compatible with big and small parts alike. They are used for the investigation of diverse materials,from bigger, less sophisticated parts, such as tires and interior panels, to smaller, more complex, multi-component parts like microelectronics.In the automotive industry, digital microscopes are cherished for enabling suppliers and manufacturers to share and discuss findings efficiently with each other, especially when current components are changed or new ones introduced. The instruments are designed for fast inspection and, especially digital microscopes of the most recent generation, also facilitate the easy documentation of results and creation of reports which can be referred to at a later time if the need arises. In addition, standard analysis methods and report templates can be developed for the obtaining of comparable results no matter who does the work.