System verifies mobile-phone display assemblies

Flexible automation systems merge robotic, automation, and vision systems to reduce cost, increase flexibility, and produce several product variants on one production line at the same time.

Apr 1st, 2001
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Andrew Wilson, Editor, andyw@pennwell.com

Flexible automation systems merge robotic, automation, and vision systems to reduce cost, increase flexibility, and produce several product variants on one production line at the same time. In building these systems, the choice of vision system is crucial. At Mikron Oslo (Lørenskog, Oslo, Norway), the company has designed a number of vision systems for quality control of printed text and mold defects in cellular-phone display windows. Developed in cooperation with Tordivel AS (Oslo, Norway), these vision systems can check missing ink and placement errors down to 0.01 mm.

Graphical user interface
In operation, the vision system checks these parameters by contour-matching text symbols with a template containing acceptable tolerances. At the core of the system is Scorpion NT-based vision software from Tordivel. Like other PC-based vision packages, Scorpion provides the developer with different tools that can be called from a graphical user interface (GUI). At present, these tools contain math function, geometry, vision, and classification tools. The GUI includes a result panel, real-time graphs, alarm management, event logs, quality alarms, remote control, and user-configurable logging.

Click here to enlarge image

User-friendly GUI- and NT-based Scorpion software from Norwegian-based Tordival presents system developers with a number of configurable vision tools. In this application, built for Mikron Oslo, the software measures the position and size of a dust-pad in a mobile phone (top left). The vision system also checks for position of buzzers and spring assemblies (bottom left) and presents the user with a bar chart of pass/fail data (right).

"In a typical system setup," says Thor Vollset, president of Tordivel, "system developers would configure the machine-vision system using dialog boxes in the GUI." The GUI supports PC-based hardware from Cognex (Natick, MA); however, the presence of this hardware is not needed to run the Scorpion software.

At Mikron, the system software has been used to check the position, size, and dustpad of mobile telephones being manufactured by Eriksson (Stockholm, Sweden). "Because this measurement needs to take place at tolerances down to 0.01 mm," says Vollset, "a reference point must first be established." Once established, measurement and position tools can be placed over the image to perform a specific function such as checking presence of the dustpad on the inside of the display glass; checking presence, size, and position of a diode; and checking the placement of casing release springs. Once tested, these data can be displayed as a bar chart on the screen and can be exported to SPC software packages or spreadsheets such as Excel.

English version available
This software was first seen as a Norwegian-language GUI at last February's IPOT show in Birmingham, England. Tordivel's Scorpion software is expected to ship with an English-language GUI this month.

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