Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 11:57 EDT
Portable Reconfigurable Inspection Machine Image 1
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Portable Reconfigurable Inspection Machine (Image 1)

March 20, 2013
The Portable Reconfigurable Inspection Machine (P-RIM), developed at the University of Michigan's Engineering Research Center for Reconfigurable Manufacturing Systems (ERC/RMS), is seen here inspecting engine blocks on an auto manufacturing production line in Dundee, Mich. P-RIM is comprised of a two-piece, modular construction that can be reconfigured in a relatively short period of time to accommodate a set of measured features (including surface flatness, profile, precise hole-location, and even surface porosity defects) and is fully operational after a mere three-hour installation, set-up and calibration procedure. Detecting pores on engine blocks at the line speed (20 seconds) is a major problem in the automotive industry. Pores as small as 0.3 millimeters can cause oil leaks in an engine. Currently, the automotive industry relies on manual, visual inspection of porosity defects. P-Rim is capable of inspecting each part on a real-time basis directly on the machining line, thereby identifying machining problems immediately and helping to ensure the customer gets a better product and the manufacturer avoids scrap, which in turn increases overall system productivity. P-Rim was developed with support of the National Science Foundation ERC for Reconfigurable Manufacturing Systems (grant EEC 95-29125). (Date of Image: March 2006) [Image 1 of 4 related images. See Image 2.] Credit: Yoram Koren, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor