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OPAQ project concluded successfully

Funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research, coordinated by Human Solutions: Cooperative project on surface inspection in press shops concludes on schedule after three years

Kaiserslautern, 13th August 2004 – OPAQ, started in October 2001 as a cooperative project between industry and research, has now been successfully concluded. In this 2.4 million dollar cooperative project funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research, an optical inspection system was developed to detect the smallest possible defect in high-value metal sheets and panels – as early as the press shop stage. Project partner and pilot user AUDI AG has already tested the concept. To detect and classify irregularities in automotive construction as early as possible, vehicle components are scanned and analyzed with a sensor. The technology is far superior to that of the human eye: the system inspects a vehicle roof in only 15 seconds and recognizes defects of just 10 micrometers in depth. OPAQ was coordinated by the Kaiserslautern-based Human Solutions GmbH; further partners included the Steinbichler Optotechnik GmbH, The Fraunhofer ITWM, the Technical Academy in Münster, Germany, the AUDI AG and Seidel GmbH.

In the light of the current "Zero Defects" policy, surface inspection is gaining in importance in all the prominent industrial segments. "The principle is simple: the earlier in the manufacturing process an irregularity is detected, the more economical its elimination will be. With conventional inspection procedures, errors are often first noticed during the final inspection - and at that point, costs have already multiplied", said Dr. Helmut Hamfeld, project leader at Human Solutions GmbH. “OPAQ was initiated in order to avoid these cost factors in future. All the project partners have had many years of experience in their own specialist areas. Together we have developed and realized a procedure that enables dependable quality control in each phase of production."

OPAQ - The project partners and their specialist areas:

Project sponsor:

- Project sponsorship Production and Manufacturing Technologies (PFT)

Project partners (Research):

- Human Solutions GmbH, Kaiserslautern, Germany: 3D scanning, sensor signal processing, classification

- Steinbichler Optotechnik GmbH, Neubeuern near Rosenheim, Germany: measuring technology specialists; digitization, surface inspection systems

- Fraunhofer ITWM, Kaiserslautern:

Research Institute; image analysis and modeling of design processes

- Technical Academy of Münster, Germany:

Research Institute; evaluation of optical systems for surface inspection

Project partners (Pilot users):

- AUDI AG, Ingolstadt, Germany; users automotive industry;

lightweight construction

- Seidel GmbH, Marburg; users in the Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic sectors; surface finishing of aluminum products

You will find further information on the OPAQ project at www.opaq-online

Human Solutions GmbH

The Human Solutions GmbH is a worldwide software and system house with around 75 employees in Kaiserslautern, Germany and Detroit, USA. The company develops and sells hardware and software solutions for body scanning, ergonomics and simulation applications. Human Solutions GmbH has over 300 customers, including famous names like DaimlerChrysler, BMW, Volkswagen, Airbus Industries, the German Federal Army, Karstadt and C & A of Hamburg, windsor, van Laack and many more.

Our Performance Spectrum: Ergonomics, Simulation and Body Scanning

For the past 15 years, Human Solutions has offered solutions for the capture of the electronic measurement data and the simulation of human beings. Over 70% of all automotive manufacturers worldwide use the human model RAMSIS for the ergonomic calculation of movement sequences.

RETAILOR is a worldwide, unique data platform created to sell high quality menswear and ladies' wear through the retail trade. This innovative system links automated body measurement (using a 3D Body Scanner) with computer-supported product selection and immediate order dispatch - simply yet powerfully. Since the effort of cutting individual made-to-measure clothing no longer exists, the retail trade can offer customized clothing from renowned manufacturers at ready-made prices.

Press Contact:

Human Solutions GmbH

Alexandra Kadel

Europaallee 10

67657 Kaiserslautern

Tel. 49 (0)631-303 5600

Fax 49 (0)631-303 5700

Press Contact

Eva Fröhlich
Phone: +49 (0)631 343 593 73