Case Study

Industry 4.0 Case Study: Melling Engine Parts

Lean Rocket Lab
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Melling Tool Corporation, a Jackson, Michigan company manufacturers high volume coolant tube assemblies for a popular automotive diesel engine vehicle. The manual inspection process required two operators visually checking the same part at multiple locations within the facility. The efficiency of the manual inspection was measured at 85%.


Lean Rocket Lab evaluated multiple technology vendors who provide AI powered vision systems to detect manufacturing defects and identified UnitX as the best fit. UnitX utilizes advanced lighting methods enabling (2^160) ways to illuminate specular, transparent and dark surfaces. It can detect the tiniest of defects in the porosity of the finished product.


Lean Rocket Lab's objective is to catalyze technology demonstrations within Michigan's manufacturing community by sharing in the cost associated with testing early stage industry 4.0 technology. We implemented the AI powered UnitX vision system to detect defects in Melling's products.


Implementing AI produced many benefits for Melling: 


Significantly improved defect detection rate from 85% to nearly 100%.

Cost Savings

Reduced operators in inspection process by half with an estimated savings of $50,000 annually.


Additional inspection in a separate location (automotive industry requirement) no longer required hence reducing footprint and improves the performance of the manufacturing cell.

Indirect Effects

Implementation unlocked other potential applications within the company's existing facilities and potential new markets with high tolerance requirements.

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