In order to cope with increasingly stringent quality standards imposed by automotive manufacturers the company needed to find a faster and more flexible method to inspect and measure the millions of parts produced at its factory every year. The solution also needed to be able to cope with the large range of different parts being manufactured.
Our Design Team initially undertook a Feasibility Study to determine the product handling characteristics needed and the optimum vision inspection solution. The appropriate techniques, including lens type and lighting for inspection and appropriate techniques for measurement were all assessed against the background of the range of products and speed of handling required.
This process automaton solution incorporated laser micrometers, cameras with telecentric lenses and a ‘complex’ lighting system, capable of making five measurements and 15 inspections (both internal and external) down to single micron accuracy, in just one third of a second. Faulty components are immediately rejected and the reason logged into a computer. Good components pass to an automated packer which counts and packs the parts into boxes. The system is fully programmable by the customer to add or change product variants when the need arises.
As at the end of November 2009 the system is used on 72 product variants and has inspected 135 million parts.