Connector Machined Pin Application

Because connectors make reliable and efficient electrical connections between parts of an electronic system, they’re critical to the quality, functionality, and reliability of the final electronic device in which they’re used. This application focuses on connector pin inspection after they’re machined and before they’re inserted into the housing.

What manufacturing defects occur?

Machining pins, like any other precision manufacturing process, can encounter various defects that affect the quality, functionality, and reliability of the final electronic device in which they’re used. These defects include:

Defect Description Consequence
Bent Pins Pins bent from mishandling or assembly processes Difficult mating with socket connector; Poor electrical connections
Scratches / Gouges Scratches and gouges on the pin surface Degraded electrical connections; Increased risk of breakage under pressure
Burrs Sharp edges left behind from the machining process Potential damage to mating connector surfaces during insertion; Degraded electrical connections

Pins are critical to electronic circuits– any defects can disrupt electrical reliability, cause failures of the electronic devices in which they’re used, shorten the lifespan of those devices, and lead to safety risks like short circuits, overheating, or fires. Manufacturers must prevent these defects to avoid costly recalls and comply with industry standards. 

But pin defects can be difficult to detect– they are variable in type and location. Traditional machine vision requires programming hundreds of hand-crafted rules, causing them to fail to detect new or variable defects that don’t match their programmed parameters

And pins are made of metal with low contrast and reflective surfaces, making defects hard to see. Traditional machine vision systems struggle to capture clear images and distinguish between actual defects, reflective surfaces, and the background, ultimately missing defects or causing false rejections.

The Solution

UnitX’s AI-powered inspection effectively detects machined pin defects where other solutions fail. 

First, the OptiX imaging system illuminates and images the machined pins. Then, the CorteX Central AI platform is trained on machined pin defects. Lastly, those AI models are deployed to the CorteX Edge inference system to detect and classify defects in-line.

Why UnitX for machined pin inspection?

OptiX provides superior images that minimize reflectivity while maximizing defect visibility. It has 32 independently controllable lighting sources that can be optimized for metal pin surfaces and various defects via software. Its computational imaging capability can be used to take multiple shots and eliminate hotspots caused by highly reflective metal pin surfaces. And its lighting dome design supports a very acute incidence angle of projected light, causing even very tiny defects to cast shadows which increase their visibility.

CorteX accurately detects random, complex defects. It automatically normalizes for variability in positions and orientations and recognizes defects down to the pixel-level. It reduces false positives that lead to scrap and wasted product.

CorteX supports fast AI model development, deployment, and iteration. CorteX AI models are sample efficient– they only require a few images to train on new defect types.

UnitX optimizes yield. In CorteX, can tune quality criteria and visualize the impact on yield before rolling those changes to production.  All inspection data is referenceable in one central platform for manufacturers to analyze and identify areas for process improvements.

UnitX provides rapid, 100% inline inspection. OptiX has bright LEDs and fast fly capture speeds of 1m/s for high speed imaging. And CorteX Edge supports high inference speeds (up to 100 MP) to quickly output an OK/NG decision, seamlessly communicating that decision via integration to all major PLC, MES, and FTP systems.

Manufacturers who use UnitX to automate machined pin inspection are able to:

  • Reduce rework costs by identifying defects early in the connector manufacturing process
  • Prevent quality escapes that hinder electronic device functionality, reliability, and safety
  • Reduce scrap by minimizing false rejection rates common with traditional machine vision
  • Improve yield by analyzing production and quality data for process improvement opportunities
  • Automate inspection at the speed of their production to increase manufacturing throughput

To learn more about how UnitX can automate inspection for you, please contact us here