Achieving remanufacturing inspection using deep learning

Chigozie Nwankpa, Solomon Eze, Winifred Ijomah, Anthony Gachagan, Stephen Marshall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)
44 Downloads (Pure)


Deep learning has emerged as a state-of-the-art learning technique across a wide range of applications, including image recognition, object detection and localisation, natural language processing, prediction and forecasting systems. With significant applicability, deep learning could be used in new and broader areas of applications, including remanufacturing. Remanufacturing is a process of taking used products through disassembly, inspection, cleaning, reconditioning, reassembly and testing to ascertain that their condition meets new products conditions with warranty. This process is complex and requires a good understanding of the respective stages for proper analysis. Inspection is a critical process in remanufacturing, which guarantees the quality of the remanufactured products. It is currently an expensive manual operation in the remanufacturing process that depends on operator expertise, in most cases. This research investigates the application of deep learning algorithms to inspection in remanufacturing, towards automating the inspection process. This paper presents a novel vision-based inspection system based on deep convolution neural network (DCNN) for eight types of defects, namely pitting, rust, cracks and other combination faults. The materials used for this feasibility study were 100 cm × 150 cm mild steel plate material, purchased locally, and captured using a USB webcam of 0.3 megapixels. The performance of this preliminary study indicates that the DCNN can classify with up to 100% accuracy on validation data and above 96% accuracy on a live video feed, by using 80% of the sample dataset for training and the remaining 20% for testing. Therefore, in the remanufacturing parts inspection, the DCNN approach has high potential as a method that could surpass the current technologies used in the design of inspection systems. This research is the first to apply deep learning techniques in remanufacturing inspection. The proposed method offers the potential to eliminate expert judgement in inspection, save cost, increase throughput and improve precision. This preliminary study demonstrates that deep learning techniques have the potential to revolutionise inspection in remanufacturing. This research offers valuable insight into these opportunities, serving as a starting point for future applications of deep learning algorithms to remanufacturing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-105
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Remanufacturing
Issue number2
Early online date15 Oct 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Oct 2020


  • inspection in remanufacturing
  • deep learning
  • automated inspection


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