Vision system identifies auto parts

Perkins Engines Company (Peterborough, UK; www.perkins.com), a manufacturer of diesel engines, needed to track precise details on the characteristics of fuel injectors to maximize performance and reduce emissions. Laser-marked Data Matrix 2-D barcodes identify the performance characteristics of each injector, which must be installed in the proper engine during production.

Feb 12th, 2007

Perkins Engines Company (Peterborough, UK;www.perkins.com), a manufacturer of diesel engines, needed to track precise details on the characteristics of fuel injectors to maximize performance and reduce emissions. Laser-marked Data Matrix 2-D barcodes identify the performance characteristics of each injector, which must be installed in the proper engine during production. To track this, the company asked Absolute Vision (Meriden, UK; www.absolutevision.co.uk) to develop a solution for reading each barcode after it is installed into the cylinder head of the engine. The identification and location data are obtained by Absolute Vision's Medusa Data Matrix reading system, which passes the data to Perkins' database records for each engine.

The Medusa system is a customized unit mounted on a counterbalanced swing arm. An operator inserts the injectors into the cylinder head and then swings the read head onto the engine and presses a single button to initiate the read cycle. Within the read head an array of imagers and lighting units acquire the code from each injector and transmit this identification to the database, where it is matched to the injector data provided with the injector shipment. The operator monitors the image-capture process, which takes only moments, via a simple array of LED indicator lights, and, once successfully completed, the read head is swung back into its parking position and assembly of the engine continues. Perkins has also installed six Absolute Vision Workstation DataMouse systems to replace conventional hand-held scanners for in-process verification.

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