Artificial Intelligence

The Next Generation of Manufacturing: AI-enabled Quality Inspection Software

Jarred Knecht, ProEV and Promark Electronics
September 26, 2022
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As the trend towards electric vehicles accelerates, mission-critical high voltage vehicle systems require the next generation of quality control and inspection to ensure a zero-defect manufacturing strategy. Automation Alley member Electrical Components International (ECI), shares how they’ve built a cutting-edge software tool, KonnectAI®, that is the next generation of artificial intelligence quality inspection.

Intelligent Connected Manufacturing

In essence, at ProEV—a division of ECI powering smart, connected and electrified solutions—our focus is not on WHAT to manufacture but rather on HOW to manufacture. Consequently, we developed a computer vision inspection system that would inspect and record results for all critical parts providing instantaneous feedback to operators: KonnectAI® Quality.  

This system is an in-process and final visual quality inspection system that uses state-of-the-art AI algorithms and computer vision technology to augment our quality inspection throughout our production processes. It is a unique differentiator in the electrical distribution systems industry and allows us to perform 100% in-process and final inspection for must-never-fail products. The KonnectAI® Quality system is constantly learning by using artificial intelligence to compare products to a database of thousands of images.  

How It Works

KonnectAI® employs video-based AI in a continuous learning mode that feeds data frame by frame into the AI server for analysis. The algorithm divides the frame into regions and defines bounding boxes using a probability calculation for each region of the frame. The probabilities of each bounding box are weighted so that the vision model can decide a “good part” based on the whole image rather than one pixel at a time.  

This efficient approach is far superior to traditional Automated Optical Inspection systems, which require hard-coded rigorous statistical calculations and static dimensional tolerances that are generally wider than necessary to allow for part-to-part variation. Each inspection image is captured by the system as a digital birth certificate.

KonnectAI® is a unique manufacturing differentiator that is designed with the operator in mind. As they assemble parts, they self-inspect their assemblies to get live inspection results and feedback. This results in higher quality parts, faster operator training, and ultimately increased confidence.  

We are building tech with tech – the products and processes are being engineered together.

Jarred Knecht, ProEV and Promark Electronics
Jarred Knecht, ProEV and Promark Electronics

Jarred Knecht is the President of ProEV and Promark Electronics, a division of Electrical Components International (ECI), a manufacturing technology business powering smart, connected and electrified solutions. With global revenues exceeding $1.5 billion annually, 37 facilities globally and a growing team of 25,000 employees, Jarred leads the business unit supporting global vehicle electrification, as well as defense, aerospace and medical devices. ProEV is a next-generation technology company that manufactures and engineers high-voltage cable and wire harnesses for industrial and commercial electric vehicles. ProEV aligns with Jarred’s mission and beliefs of creating a greener future and ultimately being community oriented. Recently, Jarred won the EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2022 for Quebec, Canada.

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