Truly Automated Light and Color Measurement for Tell-Tales and Indicators
Wed, January 04, 2017
In-dash flat panel displays, illuminated LED cup holders, puddle lights that cast logos from an open door to the pavement… The level of sophistication expected from today’s automotive technology captures the extent of automotive engineering innovation, while expectations regarding vehicle form and function is nothing short of perfection. A car is no longer a means to an end; a car has become an experience. As automakers advance their designs particularly with more digital, light-emitting components, the demand for absolute harmonization of light and color across components – most acquired through several different suppliers – has accelerated. From product development to production, new and adaptive quality control measures are needed to ensure that the automotive experience is a seamless one, and functions as a grand distinction of the automaker’s brand.
When it comes to inspecting the accuracy and uniformity of light-emitting symbols on an instrument panel, manufacturers are faced with a small quality control nightmare. Is it possible to ensure the harmonization of so many different shapes, sizes, colors, and positions of lighted features in a single space? The greatest stride thus far in light measurement over a wide area (such as a complete instrument panel) has been the application of imaging colorimeters. Colorimeters are image-based photometric measurement devices calibrated to match human visual sensitivity to brightness and color. These cameras capture high-resolution images of large areas and utilize special analytical software to apply visual inspection tools to capture data across an image. With an entire panel captured in a single image, colorimeters provide a two-dimensional environment where light and color data may be assessed for all illuminated symbols on an instrument cluster at once. Well… sort of. Once an image is captured, a complete and successful evaluation all depends on the capability of your measurement software.
The problem comes in the setup and execution of parameters in the measurement software. Although an imaging colorimeter can capture a complete instrument panel in a single image, independent tolerances must still be set for each of the criteria that you need to measure within the image. For example, a manufacturer may need to measure the collective luminance (brightness) and uniformity of all symbols on the panel, the uniformity of luminance across symbols of a certain type, the uniformity of chromaticity (color) and luminance among red symbols, blue symbols, white symbols, or analog components (like speedometer needles)… Each symbol set has unique luminance and chromaticity thresholds that allow the set to be identified from among its many neighbors, as well as analysis criteria that must be programmed into the software to ensure all symbols within the set meet a desired brightness or color threshold for each inspection to be performed. And, of course, related symbols on an instrument panel are rarely located adjacent to one another other (for example, rarely do we see all red indicators together in one space). How, then, can a set of related symbols be completely and accurately measured?
As the position of the panel relative to the
camera shifts, symbols on the panel fall outside
of the applied static points of interest.
As the position of the panel relative
to the camera shifts, symbols on the
panel fall outside of the applied
static points of interest.
Auto-POI greatly reduces the setup time of light and color measurement applications for instrument clusters, as well as the time to change jobs on the line when actively inspecting symbol quality of panels in production. The adaptability of Auto-POI to changing conditions means less margin for error, fewer escapes of sub-par components into the supply chain, greater control over supplier component quality, increased up-time, and absolute quality products that meet high consumer expectations. As competitive advantage is defined by speed and accuracy, automakers can find peace of mind using smarter quality control solutions to catch errors and keep high-caliber production in motion. More than a means to this end, Auto-POI’s true value is in its experience – bringing harmony to illuminated panels, and to the manufacturing process.
Interested in seeing Auto-POI in action? Radiant Vision Systems Product Manager Shannon Roberts recently presented a webinar introducing this latest addition to the Radiant software suite.
Get to know Auto-POI in “Truly Automated Light and Color Measurement for Tell-Tales and Indicators.”
- The fastest, most intuitive evaluation of complex instrument clusters
- Apply limited point of interest (POI) areas in software to measure all points on a panel at once
- Toggle between programmed luminance and color thresholds to evaluate symbol sets for cross-symbol uniformity
- Automatically find target POI even when displays are rotated or moved