Vision system checks bowl feeding

To determine whether a bowl feeder is delivering the right types and sizes of screws and other devices to a production line, TI Automotive (Oxford, UK; www.tiauto.com) has installed four machine-vision systems on a transfer line for automotive brake and fuel-pipe assemblies. The systems use Compact Vision Systems SBOC-Q/SBOI-Q from Festo (Esslingen, Germany; www.festo.com) to check device size, orientation, and quality.

To determine whether a bowl feeder is delivering the right types and sizes of screws and other devices to a production line, TI Automotive (Oxford, UK; www.tiauto.com) has installed four machine-vision systems on a transfer line for automotive brake and fuel-pipe assemblies. The systems use Compact Vision Systems SBOC-Q/SBOI-Q from Festo (Esslingen, Germany; www.festo.com) to check the size, orientation, and quality of the devices.

The vision systems are used in conjunction with Festo's Checkbox software to ensure that the right type of screw from 17 possibilities is fed to the assembly station. While Checkbox eliminates wrong or incorrectly oriented hollow screws on the basis of their profiles, one vision system also checks their internal diameter. Another system provides a high-precision final inspection function. If it identifies a defective workpiece, it is electronically tagged and automatically separated out from the correct finished products. CheckOpti software from Festo was used to "teach in" the components to be checked. After sample workpieces were run through the systems, users were able to define various test features such as length, height, area, center of gravity, or angular orientation. Data for up to 256 workpieces can be stored in this way.

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