Flexibly expandable, modular machine vision system

The requirements for machine vision are becoming more and more challenging. This is due, for example, to the increasing complexity of processes, higher unit numbers or rising quality demands. In order to cope with the high demand for machine vision applications while still being able to offer a high degree of individuality, the system integrator Quality Automation uses MATRIX VISION and the latter's machine vision modules.

A customer from Quality Automation, who manufactures different types of vehicle in his plant, was looking for a system which could check different criteria in car production according to specific types. To date, the criteria were checked by assembly line operators and there were differences in the evaluation depending on the particular shift. It was also strenuous for the operators to maintain the level at the end of a shift. In order to relieve the burden on the operators when testing the criteria, the automated system must first read out a bar code to determine the vehicle type. The system will then perform the type-specific presence checks, measurements and pattern recognitions. The following questions will be answered in this case: are all screws and seals present? Are the cables fitted with the correct color? Are the plugs connected correctly? What is the position of a certain flange in relation to the rest of the vehicle? How are individually installed components aligned? Is the right component installed? All these are different requirements and questions which call for greater individualization.

Quality Automation examined this situation and produced two machine vision systems with the customer. The first system for a presence check comprises six industrial cameras while the second system for measurements and pattern detections is equipped with nine industrial cameras. Every industrial camera records a characteristic that has to be tested. A master system sends both machine vision systems the information as to which vehicle type is to be tested. The necessary limit values are therefore also sent to the machine vision systems . The characteristics are checked by the machine vision systems and the results are visualized by a control monitor at the test positions. The system operator can then rectify the detected problems and arrange for the machine vision systems to carry out another check afterwards.

Thanks to both machine vision systems , the customer attained a constantly high quality assurance level. The detected data in the machine vision systems and the error patterns are stored in a master system . The tested criteria are therefore fully documented and errors can also still be analyzed long after the vehicle has left the assembly line. The scalability of the machine vision system also enables the customer to extend quality assurance to other areas at a later date.