Fujitsu AI transforms manufacturing lines with new quality control system for REHAU

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TOKYO, Apr 9, 2024 - (JCN Newswire) - - Fujitsu today announced details of successful field trials for a new AI-based quality inspection solution for REHAU Industries SE & Co. KG. which will play an important role in optimizing quality control for REHAU in the future with features like defect detection for its production processes for key products.

As part of the internationally operating REHAU Group, REHAU Industries SE & Co. KG, based in Rehau in Upper Franconia, Germany, is one of the world's leading manufacturers of polymer-based solutions. The company offers innovative products and services in the fields of construction technology, windows, interior fittings, profiles, cooling as well as fluid and rail solutions.

Extrusion profiles, one of the key products in REHAU's portfolio were targeted for the pilot program for Fujitsu's quality inspection AI solution. Enormous product diversity, combined with highest standards for a perfect surface, make quality assurance a challenge. REHAU produces more than 200,000 different versions of these in various colors, patterns, and designs in multiple factories worldwide. The profiles are manufactured using the extrusion process on large machines and wound into coils at the end of the line.

High quality standards require reliable inspection processes

While REHAU has relied on visual inspection by line workers to ensure quality control in its production processes to date, this time-consuming process presented a number of challenges, including the fact that quality of goods being manufactured could only be checked at the beginning or end of a bundle, or by taking samples during production. Despite high process stability and process control, this presented an ongoing risk of undetected errors and quality control issues.

Continuous monitoring: almost all defects identified

To address these challenges, Fujitsu delivered a new quality control system to streamline this process in pilot operations, during which it successfully detected over 99 percent of all defects on a test data set (99.32%). The integrated AI was trained using images of the manufactured profiles in optimum condition, which allows the system to reliably detect all kinds of defects during the manufacturing process.

By continuously monitoring and documenting product quality, the solution from Fujitsu also allows any fault-relevant processes to be identified and analyzed. This ensures that potential defects and anomalies can be anticipated on the basis of the knowledge gained and thus avoided.

"Quality management is increasingly important to our customers. As anyone experienced with manufacturing processes can tell you, even small production errors can have a major impact down the line, especially when you're trying to optimize the use of materials," comments Niels Strohkirch, Head of Business Unit Uvance and Member of the Management Team at Fujitsu Germany GmbH. "With our AI solution, we're demonstrating how experienced workers wielding smart technologies can achieve better results in areas where human manual or visual inspection alone has been the norm."

Next level product quality

"With the new Fujitsu quality control solution, we will be able to take product quality to a new level, reducing the risk of complaints and waste. This contributes to both cost reduction and overall, more sustainable production. As the next step, we now plan to transfer the pilot into a productive system - and ideally explore further use cases," explains Tobias Lehner, Smart Technologies Engineer at REHAU.

REHAU was particularly impressed by the high degree of professionalism in the collaboration with Fujitsu, which was evident in the rapid implementation and the solution-oriented approach. Fujitsu Quality Inspection will soon deploy a solution for fully automated, visual quality inspection of the REHAU's extrusion profiles - allowing the company to use its valuable resources more efficiently than ever before.

HMI - Hannover Messe 2024

Fujitsu will present offerings at each phase of the manufacturing process (planning, design, manufacturing, management), including smart inspection solutions and supporting technologies for sustainable transformation in the manufacturing industry at HMI - Hannover Messe 2024, April 22 - 26. Visit us in hall 14 at booth H62.

About Fujitsu

Fujitsu's purpose is to make the world more sustainable by building trust in society through innovation. As the digital transformation partner of choice for customers in over 100 countries, our 124,000 employees work to resolve some of the greatest challenges facing humanity. Our range of services and solutions draw on five key technologies: Computing, Networks, AI, Data & Security, and Converging Technologies, which we bring together to deliver sustainability transformation. Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702) reported consolidated revenues of 3.7 trillion yen (US$28 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2023 and remains the top digital services company in Japan by market share. Find out more: www.fujitsu.com.

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