Augmenting frontline workers in quality control at Siemens Buffalo Grove

The Siemens factory in Buffalo Grove uses EthonAI to overcome challenges of traditional visual quality inspection systems.

Industry

Electronics

Location

USA

Product

Inspector

Background

The Siemens factory located in Buffalo Grove, Illinois, specializes in electronic products for automation in the infrastructure sector. These products are critical for ensuring more connected and sustainably managed commercial buildings, data centers, and healthcare facilities. To uphold the high standards of reliability and safety in their finished products, rigorous quality control is indispensable to their production process.

Challenge

The factory’s setting presented unique challenges for traditional visual quality inspection systems. The spatial constraints made it difficult to accommodate the bulky hardware usually deployed for simultaneous inspection of assembly and packaging. As a result, workers had been performing manual inspections, leaving them to react to quality defects late in the production process. Therefore, Siemens Buffalo Grove needed a flexible, compact, and cost-effective solution to navigate this complex inspection environment. Additionally, they were in search of a solution that could easily adapt to new lines and stations and would integrate seamlessly with any industrial camera hardware.

“The EthonAI Inspector software achieves the fastest factory integration that I have seen in my career. It streamlines outgoing quality control, giving us more time to improve our products and processes.”

Chris Paolinetti

Quality Engineer at Siemens

Solution

EthonAI’s Inspector software efficiently addresses a range of challenges in assembly and packaging inspection with minimal hardware needs. One of its key advantages is that it can integrate with any industrial camera. Customers can use any standard camera to create a space-saving solution, addressing the common problem with traditional systems like Automated Optical Inspection (AOI) systems. Furthermore, the software offers a factory frontend application that provides visual feedback to workers on the production floor. This facilitates real-time defect identification and intervention. The software can be implemented quickly, reducing integration time from days to mere minutes.

The Inspector Factory Fronted gives instant feedback in form of heatmaps for areas with defects.
“We are a convinced customer! We are currently rolling out EthonAI across our factories in Europe and the US.”

Alexander Dierolf

Head of Data Value Center at Siemens Smart Infrastructure

Outcome

The EthonAI Inspector software now simultaneously verifies the correctness of both assembly and packaging at Siemens Buffalo Grove. Due to the software’s flexibility and minimal hardware requirements, the assembly line workers can easily conduct visual quality inspections. This has led to a marked improvement in effectiveness and efficiency of the quality control process. Siemens Buffalo Grove is now scaling the EthonAI software to multiple workstations to manage their quality at scale.

Impact

Visual inspection with intuitive feedback

Compact

The EthonAI Inspector overcame challenging spatial constraints for building a high-performance quality inspection system.

Quick Integration

Extremely fast factory integration. The time-to-value is reduce to hours instead of weeks.

Workforce Support

Thanks to visual feedback from the Inspector, workers now fix issues early and avoid costly rework at later stages.