Acoustic diagnostics – Defect detection | Signal evaluation | Quality assurance

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Listening – analysing – assuring quality

As the complexity of products and processes in manufacturing and operations increases, so does the need for cost-effective and reliable approaches in quality assurance, repair, and maintenance. This challenge can easily be met with acoustic diagnostic methods. Defective components and critical plant and operational processes have unique noise patterns, which can be detected quickly and accurately with acoustic methods. In this brochure, Fraunhofer IKTS presents a selection of easy-to-integrate, low-cost acoustic diagnostic solutions, which can be combined with state-of-the-art artificial intelligence (AI) methods to enable optimization over the entire product life cycle.

Fraunhofer IKTS is a proven specialist for non-destructive test systems and processes and can draw on extensive experience in the area of acoustic diagnostics. Operational malfunctions and component damages can be detected using active or passive methods. Acoustic diagnostics comprises quality assessment of parts and materials, monitoring of wear parts in machines and plants, and damage detection in parts and components. Analysis and evaluation can be performed on a wide variety of materials, including iron, aluminum, glass, fiber-reinforced composites, and paper. Acoustic diagnostics can be used during and after production as well as for condition monitoring of wear and other parts in a host of industries (automotive and aerospace engineering, mechanical engineering, paper and food industry, energy sector, etc.). The technology can also be applied to non-technical sound signals, e.g., for pest detection in grain storage facilities or for realizing secure and operationally reliable voice control of industrial equipment. At the heart of acoustic diagnostic techniques are state-of-the-art artificial intelligence methods, such as pattern recognition and machine learning, which allow for automatic and reliable analysis of even highly complex signals or signals with significant noise, in real time. Determination of damage extent or residual life is also possible.



Defect detection

Testing of parts and components is a critical task in transportation and environmental engineering.

The sooner damage or wear effects are determined, the better the chances of repair and avoidance of consequential damage (or catastrophe) are.


Quality assessment

More than just “good“ or “bad“ – quality assessment of parts and products, especially during and directly after production, is a central element of quality assurance. In most cases, 100 % inspection is a prerequisite for the acceptance of the manufactured items.



Wear monitoring

A mere good-or-bad distinction is not sufficient. Wear monitoring solutions developed at Fraunhofer IKTS offer a new approach: with the help of service life analysis, the residual life of a part can be determined. This provides an indication of when the part in question will need to be replaced.


Biosignals and speech signals

Acoustic diagnostic methods also lend themselves well to non-technical signals, such as biosignals, speech or music.

Pests, such as beetles, generate noise when eating and crawling. This allows their presence in storage sheds or grain silos to be detected. Because pests can destroy large amounts of food and grain supplies, permanent monitoring of storage facilities makes a great deal of sense.

Cooperation models

Innovation and development are the cornerstones of a promising corporate future. In order to create a competitive edge, Fraunhofer offers tailored options for cooperation, so that small and medium-sized companies can work together in the best possible way. This also allows to utilize development skills at short notice and as needed.