All sorted with Cognex vision

2 min read

As one of the leading manufacturers of sorting machines, Pace Automation relies on Cognex vision to ensure one of its key customers receives 100% accuracy on the production line.

How do you ensure quality control at 400 parts per minute?

As one of the leading manufacturers of sorting machines, Pace Automation relies on Cognex vision to ensure one of its key customers receives 100% accuracy on the production line.

Based in the eastern Franche – Comté region of France, LISI Automotive is an expert in fasteners and mechanical assembly components and is a tier 1 supplier to the automotive industry. As an existing Cognex user, they have first hand experience of the powerful Cognex tools and the uncompromising reliability that they provide. For this reason, LISI specified that only Cognex vision products should be utilised in the new sorting machine, to ensure complete accuracy and reliability were maintained within the new system.

Tasked with providing the high performance vision solution, Multipix Imaging Ltd and JPS Imaging supplied the bespoke system to Pace Automation which was then integrated in-house.

This particular system is required to sort numerous speciality screws for the automotive industry. The screws can vary in length from 40mm to 60mm, placing high demands on the vision system. Using the high-performance In-Sight 5100, two cameras are placed strategically within the sorting machine to inspect a number of different areas. The first camera is charged with shank inspection and is required for:
• Part location
• Tip diameter and length measurement
• Thread measurement
• Thread counting

Outstanding accuracy and speed
This camera performs a series of thread measurements referenced from the located shank position. Once the maximum and minimum y coordinates are located, the following can be calculated: thread diameter, thread root diameter, pitch and helix angle. All these measurements are calculated at 35-40 milliseconds per part, offering an outstanding accuracy:speed ratio. The speed of the production line is 200-400 parts per minute, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, offering complete reliability and maximum throughput.

The second camera is required to find the flange diameter and part position as well as measure the diameter of the screw head. The speed at which these measurements are calculated is approx. 25 milliseconds per part.

The system is calibrated to the known parts, and all measurements and programmed inspections are sent via signal to a PLC which controls a reject system. Any readings outside of the agreed tolerance are quickly removed from the line. All ‘passes’ are sent along one shoot, with another there to handle the non-compliant parts. All images are logged with the information readily available to the operator.

Using Cognex vision, LISI has been able to implement their new sorting machine in total confidence that 100% accuracy and reliability will be delivered. This in turn provides their customers with the most cost-effective and faultless supply of parts possible.

Tony Crossland, General Manager at Pace Automation commented, “The In-Sight 5100 cameras from Cognex have given us the read accuracy LISI demanded whilst maintaining an outstanding throughput rate. Using the Cognex products has also demonstrated that not only has the unit price of the cameras been more cost-effective than alternative systems, but they have allowed us greater flexibility when tailoring our machines to each individual customer.”

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