The auto industry is advancing at a rapid pace today, but some things are still done the old fashioned way. For instance, the detection and evaluation of a vehicle’s exterior paint. However, Atlas Electric Devices Co.’s VIEWW system (Video Image Enhanced Evaluation of Weathering) is rapidly replacing the subjective human eye in helping to detect chipping, corrosion and other paint-related defects caused by the degrading effects of weather.

In the past year since the system has been on the market, Ford Motor Co., DaimlerChrysler AG and BMW AG have begun using this one-of-a-kind technology.

Applications include clearcoat analysis, gravel impact, texture analysis, corrosion analysis and delamination. Dr. Stefan Daisler, general manager of Atlas’s Material Testing Technology BV German business unit, says that although corrosion is unwanted, it is also unavoidable. Atlas’s software is installed in a superior quality PC specially configured for digital image analysis. A sample is placed on a stage and the computer reads and translates the image into data. From this data a manufacturer can tell what layer the defect is in and how deeply it has penetrated the individual layers contained within the five specific layers (clear coat, pigment, filler, E-coat or substrate). Dr. Frederick H. Lee, an Atlas product manager, says that although the analyzer is mostly being used in Europe, American companies are also beginning to utilize the technology.