CitationDownload as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Vision – the innovation necessary to sort 180,000 parts per day
Article Type: Mini features From: Sensor Review, Volume 29, Issue 1
Innovative German machine builder, Schuster-Präzision found themselves faced with the challenge of providing a customer with a machine that could accurately sort 180,000 drill parts every day. They chose Cognex vision systems (Figure 4) as the robust and innovative component that would make the difference on their sorting machines.
Many metal processing companies use their specialised machines for the production of what accounts for approximately 97per cent of all drill components produced globally. These range from large masonry and metal drills right down to fine drills for medical use. As a manufacturer of special machines, Schuster-Präzision in Germany, ensures that their customers can assure the smooth running of various processes such as sorting, turning, milling and cutting parts to the correct length. Quality assurance and automation technology are of the highest priority. When it comes to the sorting of large numbers of parts, it is essential that the systems performing the task are completely reliable and capable of enduring the rigours of continuous operation.
Key component – In-Sight vision systems
One of the most important components of these special machines is the In-Sight vision system from Cognex. For example, one of Schuster’s largest customers, who manufactures 180,000 drill pieces per day, can count on 100 per cent accurate sorting thanks to these precise sensors.
In the first step of the sorting process, the container of the machine which is equipped with an In-Sight 5100 from Cognex, is filled with several thousand drill components. A sliding mechanism then moves the individual pieces down a ramp and onto a conveyor line.
In-Sight guarantees correct part positioning and orientation
The In-Sight and a special gripper ensure that the heads of the drill bits point in the correct direction. With its precise sensors, the system detects the positions of the parts and transfers (Source: Photo courtesy: John Rogers, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign) this information to the container’s microprocessor. If a drill component is positioned correctly, it is simply transported further on towards the output area. If a drill piece is not positioned correctly, however, the In-Sight informs the gripper who grabs it and positions it correctly so it can continue to the output area with the other pieces. This is a simple process but it requires reliable machine components because of the large numbers of parts being processed.
In-Sight – robust vision for a tough industrial environment
As in many other areas of the metal processing industry, machines must be robust in order to achieve the required precision, reliability and to operate round-the-clock. The vibrations caused by mechanical conveyors, jolts from pneumatic systems and the dust in the production areas present quite a challenge to precision machinery. Vision systems from Cognex are built to be particularly robust so that quality standards are always maintained, even under the most difficult conditions. Equipped with die cast housings, lens protectors and M12 connectors with seals, they can withstand even the roughest industrial environments.