Many manufacturers in our area are faced with efficiency challenges for low-volume, high-mix production schedules. One solution they’ve turned to is collaborative robots that can be readily re-deployed for multiple applications – moving away from “fixed automation” to “automation pods”.
However, these manufacturers still face constraints with implementing vision and inspection systems for their flexible automation. Not only are there a large number of similar-yet-different product versions, (i.e., many SKUs), but also there are often many changeovers in their system being used in different locations within the plant.
Traditional 2D scanning requires consistent and well-placed lighting. In addition, the 2D sensors must be calibrated to the individual parts or assemblies. Overall, it is not that easy to use 2D vision in flexible manufacturing applications.
Axis NJ is excited to offer a practical solution for these challenges with the LMI Technologies’ Gocator® 3D Smart Sensor. These 3D scanning and inspection devices have integrated illumination, utilizing laser or LED technologies. With these high-density light sources, these sensors are immune to lighting variation and ambient light. In addition, they measure volumetric (X, Y and Z axis) to provide shape and position without the tedious part-by-part calibration needed for conventional 2D cameras. While 2D area scan cameras only capture contrast to generate images, 3D sensors capture the entire shape of an object in addition to an intensity bitmap image. With that shape, you can measure geometric features on a surface, regardless of surface color, reflectivity or lighting conditions.
3D vision is a new emerging technology, mainly used by quality inspectors and manufacturers. Line profilers use projected laser triangulation measurement principles to perform high-resolution geometry, surface, and volumetric measurements at inline production speeds. As a part or surface moves through the line profiler’s scan plan, the sensor automatically creates 3D surface images.
Some other benefits of 3D scanning technology are:
Contrast invariant, ideal for inspecting low contrast objects, shiny surfaces or transparent materials
Higher repeatability due to integrated optics, lighting and pre-calibration
Simpler to build multi-sensor setups for large object inspection at micron-level resolutions
From quality control to part location, the Gocator® sensor is non-contact technology that delivers in-depth inspection of parts and assemblies. It provides high quality data to support internal statistical process control programs, while also satisfying customers in demanding industries – such as aerospace, pharmaceutical, automotive, food and beverage and more! Simplicity of operation is also a key consideration, especially when setting up for small runs. No software coding experience is needed. High resolution scans are analyzed with built-in measurement tools without the need for an external controller.
The Gocator® product line helps factories achieve 100% inspection, reduce waste by optimization, and improve efficiency by simplifying automation – LMI’s 3D solutions help customers improve control of their processes and stay ahead of the competition. Contact us to schedule a demo today!