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Robotic Vision Inspections & Machine Vision

 
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Robot-based inspections systems are an application whose time has come. As vision systems become increasingly powerful and flexible, more end-users will consider inspection tasks being integrated into robotic work cells. We can offer you more than just guide the robot. In the coming years, robotic inspection will enter the mainstream so most manufacturers will be able to routinely implement it. Also, look for vision systems with the ability to inspect multiple items simultaneously.

Robotic inspection systems are performing flaw detection on parts, ensuring complete part assembly, and measuring parts. Robotic inspection systems offer cost savings over traditional inspection solutions. Robotic inspection improves quality in manufacturing because robots can do inspection on every part rather than just on samples. Traditional quality inspection has only one or two percent of parts sent to a laboratory to be checked out. Quality and cost pressures drive robotic inspection.

          Error-Proofing
Robotic flaw detection is looking at surface finishes or finding precise dimensions. End-users must define what is a good part and what is a bad part. If you ask several line operators to define what is a good part and what is a bad part and they do not all give the same answer, the inspection system will also struggle with finding a good answer. Knowing details of an inspection application is crucial to achieving success. Issues relating to the detail of the part and the inspection requirements are important. End-users have to define what the tolerance on the part is and define the appropriate way to do the inspection. To meet these challenges, we must use the right inspection method. End-users need to understand exactly what needs to be verified or measured. Those doing robotic inspection not only need to know what the good state of an item is but also the bad state. When a bad part shows up, the system has to be configured to properly deal with it. Inspecting all parts rather than just a small sample is important to most end-users. Traditional inspection has some parts shipped to the quality department, where these parts are put into a coordinate measuring machine for a quality check. With robotic inspection, manufacturers can perform in-line quality checks.
The advantage is that manufacturers can check every part rather than just one out of 100. Being able to perform in-line inspection saves on scrap, time and money.
Robotic inspection adds quality checks into the manufacturing process earlier, so end-users can stop adding value to a bad part and gets it off the assembly line sooner and more reliably.

          Measuring
Robots are also used to measure items. Inspection systems are measuring components but as tolerances of the measurements get tighter and tighter, these tolerances become harder to satisfy. Lighting and part presentation to the robot becomes more critical. When moving from verifying a partís presence to actually measuring it, we are adding complexity to the inspection system. As an example of robotic inspection, the vision system is ascertaining if a nut or a bolt is where it should be or that a hole is tapped properly. Those features should be inspected with robotics to increase efficiency.

          Pass or Fail
Inspection systems are called upon to determine part presence. We start by looking to see if certain things are present or not present on an assembly. Inspection systems could be looking at an engine to confirm that it has been completely assembled. For example, at the end of the production line, car makers want to confirm that an oil filter has been put on the engine or determine if a certain bolt has been tightened down completely.
The robotic form of "Pass or Fail" inspection utilizes a camera mounted on the robotís arm, which is moved around to check the presence of different features on a part.


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