Defect Control for Fuel Cell Technology

Automated Inspection Systems for Blemishes on Hydrogen Fuel Cells

Electric vehicles – hydrogen fuel cell stack


Inspection systems for the hydrogen fuel cell stack vehicles

A fuel cell vehicle is an electric vehicle that utilizes a fuel cell stack as a source of generating electricity. However, a fuel cell generates electricity through the assistance of gases used as alternative fuels, such as oxygen and hydrogen. Transferring the hydrogen from the tanks into the fuel cell stack leads to electricity production.

A fuel cell stack represents the assembly of an individual membrane of electrodes that utilizes hydrogen and oxygen to create electricity. Moreover, hydrogen cell fuels are sustainable and environmentally friendly. Thus, hydrogen-based fuel cell vehicles (FCV) emit zero emissions, as they dissipate oxygen (vapours) and warm air.

A fuel cell stack inspection system is required to ensure the quality and functionality of the fuel cell stacks. This is necessary not only to guarantee the cell stack performance, but also for your customers’ safety.

Fuel Cell Stack Inspection Systems– Major issues


The fuel cell stack inspection is mandatory for identifying issues in the assembly of the top or bottom layers of the fuel cells stack. In the assembly line it is possible to encounter a variety of defects such as: lumps, scratches, cuts, blemishes, and spots.

Disregarding these defects confines the fuel cell from performing to its maximum capacity.

Overall, these issues will affect the fuel cell stacks' production, safety, and reliability, if they are not detected through the assistance of calibrated instruments.

 


Konica Minolta Measuring Instruments alongside the group company Radiant Vision Systems, manufacture inspection solutions for fuel cell stack vehicles as automotive applications. These solutions include a high-quality calibrated high-resolution camera and lenses, aided by external lighting, and machine learning software to perform the data analysis. They ensure an accurate, reliable and reproduceable procedure for defect detection.

Fuel cell stack (FCS) manufacturers can enhance the quality of the cell stacks’ inspection process, whilst ensuring that standards for visibility, measurement, reliability, precision, and accuracy are met.

 

Traceable and trusted solutions for inspecting data can greatly speed up development, production, and quality control testing.

 
 
Our expert teams can assist you with implementing a system that allows all parties, from equipment manufacturer through to quality control, to work in a more streamlined and consistent way. Experience shows that a data driven approach allows supply chains to build relationships based on quality and consistency, simplifying specification and approval, whilst reducing human error rate.

Benefits

  • Implementing a high-resolution ProMetric® Y Imaging Photometer as a Fuel Cell Inspection System ensures the provision of objective data evaluation using calibrated cameras;
  • The high resolution sensor can more accurately and repeatably identify even small defects.
  • The luminance camera and lenses ensure a high-quality and reliable stack defects assessment;
  • Even the slightest reflected luminance difference can be measured, enabling identification of even the smallest of scratches and blemishes on the fuel cell stack;
  • The inspection system can be fully automatedincreasing the inspection process efficiency;
  • The deep learning AI software used by the solution provides accurate information that can drastically reduce errors and improve takt times  through continuous learning;
  • The deep learning software assists in distinguishing between the images with defects and those without, placing them in Fail and Pass zone clusters.

Instruments

Instruments

Radiant Vision Systems Prometric® Y-Series

Radiant ProMetric® Y is a series of performance imaging photometers designed for high-volume production testing of displays, keyboards, lighting products, device components, and surfaces. 
 

Case Study

Case Study
Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell Stack Vehicle Inspection System

Toyota Mirai

The renowned Japanese automotive company Toyota launched the Mirai, a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, in 2021. A collaboration between Toyota and Konica Minolta Sensing emerged, to optimize the fuel cell technology production and development used in Mirai. As a result, it led to to the implementation of the ProMetric® Y Imaging Photometer as their Fuel Cell Inspection System.

To learn more about how the expertise of Konica Minolta Sensing ensured a successful implementation of the ProMetric® Y system in the Toyota Mirai project, download the case study below:

Fill in the form to download the case study