Computer Vision System for Welding Inspection of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Pressure Vessels Based on Combined Digital Image Processing and Deep Learning Techniques

Sensors (Basel). 2020 Aug 12;20(16):4505. doi: 10.3390/s20164505.


One of the most important operations during the manufacturing process of a pressure vessel is welding. The result of this operation has a great impact on the vessel integrity; thus, welding inspection procedures must detect defects that could lead to an accident. This paper introduces a computer vision system based on structured light for welding inspection of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) pressure vessels by using combined digital image processing and deep learning techniques. The inspection procedure applied prior to the welding operation was based on a convolutional neural network (CNN), and it correctly detected the misalignment of the parts to be welded in 97.7% of the cases during the method testing. The post-welding inspection procedure was based on a laser triangulation method, and it estimated the weld bead height and width, with average relative errors of 2.7% and 3.4%, respectively, during the method testing. This post-welding inspection procedure allows us to detect geometrical nonconformities that compromise the weld bead integrity. By using this system, the quality index of the process was improved from 95.0% to 99.5% during practical validation in an industrial environment, demonstrating its robustness.

Keywords: computer vision; deep learning; digital image processing; welding inspection.