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BSH Automates Leak Testing with Intelligent Complete Solution

At a Glance

At the Spanish production site of BSH Hausgeräte GmbH, our intelligent robot control system MIRAI is deployed as part of a standard solution for automated leak testing. The European market leader for home appliances uses our complete and fully automated solution to check the metal pipes of refrigerators for leaks. Read more about how BSH succeeded in automating the quality inspection for the first time despite high variances in the process.

The Challenge

For leak testing of refrigerators, a so-called sniffer probe is run along the metal pipes and compressors to check solder joints for leaking coolant. The challenge: The back of each produced refrigerator is unique in terms of position, color, shape and even amount of the soldering points. For a conventional robot, such variances are an insurmountable obstacle. Until now, the repetitive inspection process was left to human workers.

The Solution

At BSH, our standard robotic solution has replaced manual leak testing, also referred to as "fridge sniffing." Thanks to our integrated, intelligent robot controller MIRAI, the robot:

  • reliably identifies all solder joints to be inspected
  • approaches the sniffer probe with millimeter precision—regardless of position, shape or color of the joints
  • responds to its environment in real time
  • handles even unforeseen deviations with precision
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The advantage of this fully automated solution is high quality combined with absolute process reliability. By repeatedly demonstrating the motions, BSH employees trained the robots on the required skills in just a few hours without the need for programming or artificial intelligence (AI). With the MIRAI-controlled automation solution deployed for this “fridge sniffing” task, BSH has lowered ongoing operating costs and reduced maintenance and troubleshooting.

"Using MIRAI’s Machine Learning technology, we have solved a challenge we could not solve using standard automation technology," said Javier Chasco Echeverria, engineer for Industry 4.0, at BSH. "All cycle time, accuracy and performance KPIs have been reached, improving our productivity and quality."

"We consider Machine Learning a key technology we will continue using and will consider Micropsi Industries’ MIRAI for other challenging applications in the future."

Javier Chasco Echeverria 
Engineer for Industry 4.0, at BSH

The complete and fully automated solution takes over the inspection of solder joints at BSH. The solution was trained instead of programmed through human demonstration. Instead of manually guiding the probe to each individual solder joint, employees can now concentrate on value-creating activities.

The Solution

MIRAI is a vision-based robot control system from Micropsi Industries that, using artificial intelligence, enables robots to deal with complexity in production that would be otherwise impossible or extremely difficult to get around with hand-engineered solutions, prohibitively expensive as well. MIRAI attaches to and augments industrial robots. Once fitted with MIRAI, a robot can perceive its workspace and correct its movement where needed as it performs a task. MIRAI can be easily and quickly trained or retrained for myriad tasks by those with no background in engineering or artificial intelligence.

Compared with other available automation solutions, MIRAI makes it possible for:

  • Industrial robots to deal with all the variance that crops up in production.
  • Workers to use machine vision out of the box. They can set up the system and train a skill in only a few hours.
  • Workers without expert knowledge in robotics programming or artificial intelligence to train robots.

When deployed for a task, the MIRAI system kicks in for a complex step or steps in the application process.

General MIRAI-Robot-Setup

A MIRAI- Controller
B Robot
C Force Torque Sensor
D Gripper
E Camera
F Ringlight

Return on Investment

The return on investment for this solution (MIRAI plus a collaborative robot) is less than one year. This particular scenario assumes a standard robot cell, a two-shift operation, and a cost of €43,200 for each factory worker.

Book a Demo

Would you like to schedule a free MIRAI demo? Want to learn more about the system and what it can do for your operation? Talk to one of our automation experts.

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