Monday, November 5, 2007

Vision Inspection Machinery

Many inspection and sorting operations once thought to be strictly manual tasks have been made more efficient and economical with the use of vision systems. CDS Manufacturing has built many vision inspection machines for a wide variety of parts. Vision system manufacturers have made the integration and operation of this flexible technology simpler than ever, but looking at the parts with a camera is only half of the challenge.

Recently, we received an order for an automatic inspection system to sort ceramic fuse bodies for overall length. It is amazing to think that such an operation in this day and age is still done manually. Perhaps it is because many people can sort many parts in an hour whereas an automatic system may not be able to achieve an adequate throughput rate to keep up with production...Until now. CDS Manufacturing designed and built an automatic vision inspection machine to length sort these parts at a rate of 225 parts per minute. Achieving a part per minute rate that still allowed for inspection and by a vision system was kind of tricky though. Vision system cameras need to distinguish one part from another, so part separation is necessary. On the fly part gating is required to separate good and reject parts, and consistent orientation and part stability are equally as important.

The system that we developed achieved all of this, and more. We designed the system to feed the fuse bodies in a constant orientation to a conveyor belt. The conveyor belt fed parts at a greater inches per minute rate than the orientation track. Thus, part separation was achieved for vision inspection of the length of the part. The final product has proven to be a fast and efficient method for length inspection, and the customer couldn't be happier with their investment.

F. Scarson, III
Vice President
CDS Manufacturing