Defective or incorrectly oriented small parts often bring assembly machines to a standstill, despite mechanical barriers on the conveyors. Ensuring correct orientation as well as part quality 100% of the time requires optical inspection.
The "Checkbox'' family of non-contacting optical inspection systems originally developed by Festo engineers to satisfy quality requirements for the company's own production presents an economic means of supplementing mechanical barriers. Easily integrated into existing assembly systems, the Checkbox system includes a conveyor with brushless dc servomotor, integrated valves, and flow controls; a line camera and LED light strip; and a control system with storage capacity for 24 different components.
Part to be inspected is conveyed past the camera on the belt. The control system analyzes its contour and distinguishes between correctly oriented and incorrectly oriented good parts, and bad parts.
Automatic teach-in of new components requires no programming while changing from one part to another simply involves the push of a button. Capable of resolutions better than 1/10 mm, the modular design is also protected against external light and maladjustment in accordance with IP54. Four units make up the Checkbox family:
Identbox. This basic unit features separate ejection of bad parts as well as incorrectly oriented good parts.
Countbox. Same as the Identbox with the additional ability to countgood parts. Desired quantities can be preselected.
Sortbox. Same as the Countbox plus parallel delivery, sorting, and commissioning of several different types of parts.
Configbox. All of the above with added focusing tasks and characteristic criteria programmable via configurator software.
Truchard will be presented the award at the 2014 Golden Mousetrap Awards ceremony during the co-located events Pacific Design & Manufacturing, MD&M West, WestPack, PLASTEC West, Electronics West, ATX West, and AeroCon.
In a bid to boost the viability of lithium-based electric car batteries, a team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed a chemistry that could possibly double an EV’s driving range while cutting its battery cost in half.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.