Hankook Tire & Technology Co. Ltd. (Hankook) has begun automating the final-stage inspection process for its tyres – the South Korean-based company is now using artificial intelligence (AI) and digital sensor technology to carry out internal inspection with a type of shearography or Interferometer Tire Testing (ITT) system; internal X-ray inspection; and external visual inspection.The AI technology would allow the computer to find defects in nonconforming patterns systematically, thus accelerating the inspection process. It would also maximise consistency and efficiency of final inspection, reduce the decision-making time, and greatly improve overall plant efficiency.
Hankook collaborated with AI experts in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) to develop and implement the new system.
Hyunshik Cho, Vice chairman and President of Hankook Technology Group, said: “The development of the automatic inspection system is yet another feature aligned to innovation, making it possible for us to secure a leading position in digital transformation in this fast-changing business environment.”
While it currently employs skilled technicians to evaluate the ITT images, Hankook believes it could at some point turn the AI process into a stand-alone business that could be licensed to third parties.For now, the AI-based system is in place at the Geumsancar and truck tyre factory in South Korea; the company plans to begin installing it at other plants worldwide after the Geumsan testing is finished in October.