Nanocameras – Inspection of internal cavities

Nanocamera system is primarily designed for the manufacturing of cylinder heads and engine blocks, where production takes place through conventional aluminum alloy gravity casting in semi-permanent sand core molds. But it can be used for automation of any visual borescope/videoscope inspection in any production process. Nanocameras can be fully integrated into the production inspection. Their major advantages are precise detection of small defects, modularity and the option to integrate other types of inspections into a single device.

Detection of defects in cylinder heads and engine blocks

Nanocamera probes provide detailed visual inspection of internal cavities, channels and other hardly accessible surfaces inside products.

Manufacturing aluminum castings with inner cores has various defects that may have disastrous consequences for the final product. The sand core sometimes breaks or is otherwise damaged, and the cavity becomes completely or partially blocked after the core is removed. There can be sand residues after decoring, or metal chips after machining. The damaged channel adversely affects the engine’s life and performance. The detection of these defects reduces the risk of potential car accidents and also clients’ complaints.

Advantages and benefits:

100% automated inspection of production

Detection of partial defects, chips and sand

Inspection of branched channels in a casting

Localizing the defect within a casting

Greater range of inspection in the casting compared with conventional solutions

Reduced investment costs when integrating multiple measurements in one facility

Detection Options:

  • Partial and full blockages of channels caused by sand core defects
  • Improper de-coring of channels
  • Small penetration of the metal into the core
  • Flashes around glued core connections

System Parameters:

Image resolution: 250x250 pixels
Standard cycle time: 26s part to part (as low as 16s for special applications)
Max number of senders: 32 per control unit
Max number of nanocameras: 16 per control unit
Detection of partial blockages: 50% guaranteed, 30% possible

Glued cores partial blockage

Channel with chip - back light

Channel with chip - front light

Channel without chip - front light

Channel without chip - back light

Chip inside channel

Method of Measurement

Nanocameras are miniature cameras with integrated lens. The size if 1x1x1,8mm. They are built into special probes with integrated Led illumination. Probes are customized for each product geometry to reach into all desired places. It can utilize front light and back light illumination principle. Inspected cavities are imaged and the pictures are automatically evaluated for different types of defects. The detection is very accurate and reliable. It uses different machine vision algorithms for various type of surface geometry and structure.

Alternative Technologies

Nanocameras are often installed as complementary technology to LightThru for inspection of internal channels.


  • Accurate visual inspection
  • Detection of partial blockages
  • Front/back light configuration
  • Inspection of nearby surfaces only


  • Inspection of long curved channels
  • Localization of defects in parts
  • Only full blockage detection
  • Sensitive to changing surface conditions

Integration Options

Nanocameras can be fully integrated into the production process.

There are various mechanical designs based on the type of manufacturing process. Major advantages are its modularity and the option to integrate other types of inspections into a single device.

  • Separated measuring device with manual loading
  • Inline device with conveyor-based handling
  • Robotically operated automatic cell
  • Integrated with LightThru, OMS 3D measuring, surface inspections, IIT threat condition and other measuring systems in a single device