Inside the system
When a major manufacturing company in the Midwest found itself with burring and other contaminate issues that caused tooling crashes along the conveyor line, it focused on finding a vision system that could inspect parts along the way to prevent stoppages and reduce cost.
Machine vision system integration company Acquire Automation developed a system whereby parts are inspected as they travel along the conveyor line in regular production. When a defective part is found, the interlocked signal is dropped to stop the process and the part is contained. Needing a system that could identify defect sizes of 1/32", Acquire Automation chose a Matrox Imaging GT 5000 monochrome smart camera. The GT 5000 camera features a 2/3” Sony ICX625AL CCD image sensor with a 3.45 µm x 3.45 µm pixel size and 15 fps frame rate.
In addition, the smart camera features an Intel Atom 1.6 GHz processor, runs Windows CE 6.0, and features an integrated graphics controller with VGA output, 512 MB DDR2 memory, and a 2 GB flash disk. Matrox Iris GT5000 is housed in a sturdy, dust-proof and washable IP67-rated casing.
A ring light from Advanced Illumination was used to properly illuminate the inspection area as the camera captured images. For image processing and customer I/O, Acquire Automation used Matrox Design Assistant flowchart-based software. Design Assistant is an integrated development environment (IDE) that enables image capture, analysis, location, measurement, reading, verification, communication, and I/O operations to be performed within the IDE without conventional programming.
Features within Design Assistant enabled the team to quickly develop the solution, and the software’s human-machine interface feature provided the company with an interactive environment for editing basic system properties without needing to connect to a laptop, according to Ross McDonald of Acquire Automation.
"This improved their ability to quickly react to process changes and maintain a high level of uptime," he said of the software’s HMI.
The system also features a built-in keyboard, video monitor, integrated digital I/Os, externally-triggered electronic camera shutter, and communication via Ethernet interface.
The inspection system is currently being tested in production, and once the customer is fully comfortable with the capabilities, then additional systems will be discussed, suggested McDonald.
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