EPHJ-EPMT to present world first quality control mechanism

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May 2011 World premiere presentation at EPHJ-EPMT by EPFL and Savoie University of a mechanism devised by a synergy of partners to resolve the problem of consistency in quality control.

Visual perfection is one of the key attributes of any luxury item. To this day, visual inspection is a task that comes down to the keen eye of experts in beauty. Thus, in the world of high-end luxury and cosmetic beauty, there are as many definitions of beauty as there are subjective criteria for judgment, since every brand lays down its own standards that go towards establishing its own individual style. It is the expert’s task to determine whether a batch considered good, or merely acceptable, whether a satin-finish is deemed sufficiently shiny, or whether a Côtes de Genève motif is seen as a true reflection of the brand’s ethos? The answers to this quest for excellence will vary from one brand to the next and they are now delivered by experts whose eyes and powers of concentration are put to their sternest test.

EPHJ-EPMT to present world first quality control mechanism

The revolutionary machine currently lacks an aesthetic form and a name, but will be on demo at the EPHJ-EPMT fair from 24 to 27 May 2011

The fallible nature of the human eye, depending on the time of day and cumulative tiredness, can cause inconsistencies in the systematic determination of minor anomalies, or varying degrees of severity in the appraisal of the “inspector”, the visiting specialist in charge of quality control. "Our apparatus is used to measure whether the expert always says the same thing", explains Professor Jacques Jacot, manager of the project conducted within EPFL’s Microtechnology Production Laboratory (MPL), adding that the device can also be programmed according to subjective, personalisable criteria. This strange machine comprises a small tower, atop which a camera sits, and finally a whole series of adjustable LEDs for lighting. Although it has yet to acquire its ultimate aesthetic form (Asyril and Qualimatest, the two parts manufacturers involved in the project will undoubtedly find the solution), this ultra-perfectionist visual inspection system looks to be full of promise, and not just for the watchmaking sector.

Sixteen partners

Corporate: EPFL’s Microtechnology Production Laboratory (MPL), Savoie University’s SYMME lab, European Union, Interreg France-Switzerland, Swiss Confederation, CETEHOR (technical department of the Franceclat Committee), CTDEC (Screw-machining Industry Technical Centre). Private: Asyril, Audemars Piguet, Eudica, Fournier, MPS, NTN, Qualimatest, S.T. Dupont Paris.